Log in

No account? Create an account
entries friends calendar profile Previous Previous Next Next
Edge of Tomorrow - Cinemaholic Movie Reviews
one person's obsessive addiction to film
Edge of Tomorrow
Directing: B
Acting: B+
Writing: C+
Cinematography: B
Editing: B+
Special Effects: B

Watching Edge of Tomorrow, you can just imagine the pitch meeting where the "idea" for this movie was born: "It's Groundhog Day meets Independence Day!" And maybe some over-eager third party sitting on the same couch chimed in: "With heavy overtones of Aliens!

Edge of Tomorrow is so derivative, in fact, that it's even reminiscent of Battle: Los Angeles from only three years ago, what with its frequent military battle scenes between humanity and largely unseen alien invaders.

On the upside, Edge of Tomorrow is better than Battle: Los Angeles by nearly every measure. That doesn't make Edge of Tomorrow particularly great; it's more of a reminder of how much Battle: Los Angeles really sucked.

But neither is Edge of Tomorrow particularly bad. Say what you will about Tom Cruise, but he's maintained a commanding screen presence even now at the age of 51, and even in a role in which he starts off as a cowardly military officer who has somehow risen in the ranks without ever seeing combat. Emily Blunt, 21 years his junior (typical), stars opposite as the fellow solider who is the only person who understands what he's going through.

Here's where the Groundhog Day bit comes in: Cage is killed almost immediately after landing on the beach in France in the midst of a fight with the aliens who somehow knew they were coming. But, after blowing up an "alpha" alien whose blood gets all over him, he retains their power to reset the day while retaining the memory of having lived it before. So, he dies, and wakes up again at the beginning of the same day.

He finds Rita on the beach, the one who once had this same power but lost it after a blood transfusion, and spent time in the psych ward because no one believed her. At first she dies even before Cage does, but after many do-overs he figures out how to save her and, ultimately, work with her on how to defeat the aliens.

There's the potential for a lot of tedium here. One might wonder how Cage doesn't just go crazy, having to explain himself to Rita over and over again. Although we are thankfully spared most of that, Edge of Tomorrow does get tedious at points. But, it is also undeniably entertaining -- more so than it deserves to be.

It's kind of amazing that a team of three script writers could not come up with anything more original between them, but what makes this movie fun is in the details. There's a healthy sprinkling of humor that keeps things light, which is appropriate considering the preposterous concept. You can almost forgive the overdone idea that the enemy can be destroyed by defeating a central "brain" that controls all of them -- something we've seen from Star Wars to Independence Day to even, in a way, Aliens.

This movie likely wouldn't bear repeat viewings very well. Many felt the same way about Groundhog Day in its day (I did); it turns out that movie holds up incredibly well. No one's going to be talking about this one in twenty years.

For now, though, Edge of Tomorrow is notably smarter than just about any other modern action movie you can think of. Considering all I've already said about it, I suppose that's a pretty sad state of affairs. But if you're looking for entertaining action that raises well above outright stupidity in spite of its lack of originality, this is the movie for you. This movie makes no claims to be anything superior to what it is, to its credit. And on its own terms, it works.

Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt go through the paces, over and over again, in EDGE OF TOMORROW.

Overall: B
2 comments or Leave a comment
fatpie42 From: fatpie42 Date: June 10th, 2014 12:42 am (UTC) (Link)
It's worth noting that "Edge of Tomorrow" is actually an adaptation of a book called "All You Need Is Kill". The principle is the same, but it means that the premise wasn't thought up by studio executives. I haven't read the book, so I cannot be sure whether it was hugely original - but the quality of the film may be at least partly due to adaptation issues.

I'm quite keen on seeing this, though it may be a while before I get the chance.
cinema_holic From: cinema_holic Date: June 13th, 2014 03:48 am (UTC) (Link)
Yeah, well, that doesn't really change the scenario. All it means is someone pitched the book and said, "It's Groundhog Day meets Independence Day!"
2 comments or Leave a comment