Tuesday, June 10, 2014
Edge of Tomorrow review
When Edge of Tomorrow started its marketing campaign it very much came across as a run-of-the-mill sci-fi action flick that was probably going to be very mediocre. The only reason I was interested in it was because of the cast and the director. Doug Liman, though he's had a few shaky movies since, is the director of the excellent first Jason Bourne film. Emily Blunt was terrific in Looper, and I was looking forward to seeing her do a science fiction flick again. Tom Cruise, despite all the hate he gets, is one of my favorite actors and I'll watch him in practically anything. Plus, Tomorrow is written by The Usual Suspects scribe Christopher McQuarrie. Sure, the trailers looked very bleak and stale. But with the people involved, how could it go wrong? The answer is, it couldn't. Edge of Tomorrow is a fun, exciting, and just really awesome movie. It's the kind of summer blockbuster fare we should be seeing in the movie theaters. It's about William Cage (Tom Cruise) for the army. Aliens have invaded Earth and he's trying to sell the war to the public. A series of events lands him unprepared in the thick of battle. Soon, he dies. But reaction with alien blood makes him relive the same day over and over when he dies. What follows is one of the best action movies of the year. Although Tom Cruise has made some impressive dramatic turns in films like Magnolia and Born on the Fourth of July, recently he's been mainly an action star. Cruise is always able to bring an air of suave badassery to his action pictures. Here, he not only carries that action star persona, but exercises his serious dramatic acting chops as well. The guy is extremely capable of carrying a movie and he shows that here. Yet, he doesn't need to carry the film on his shoulders. Emily Blunt is excellent here. She plays this sort of Joan of Arc type solider who helps Cruise's character defeat the alien onslaught. She's funny, cool, and perfectly delivers some of the films best dialogue. Of course, these great performances wouldn't be much without a script. I can enjoy a decent action flick regardless of a great script. But that doesn't mean the movie will be very good. A film with solid and believable characters and good dialogue can only be good. Edge of Tomorrow is filled with great set pieces and edge-of-your-seat action, but it has a damn good script also. Christopher McQuarrie is a more than capable screenwriter. He's done some great stuff, but he's also done some not so great stuff. This movie is him at his peak. Everything just clicks. The premise may seem a little familiar, and it is. Movies like Groundhog Day have dealt with the living the same day over and over again plot before. And the whole alien thing is nothing new. It's the way McQuarrie crafts his story and his characters that make this film seem fresh. Not only is the film tense and awesome, it's actually very funny. I found myself laughing out loud at some scenes. Weirdly enough, the comedy doesn't feel out of place at all. The terrific cast certainly helps with that also. Doug Liman hasn't really made a great movie in a number of years. Luckily, this is his comeback film. Liman seamlessly directs the action sequences. A movie like this could fall into a jumbled incoherent mess under a different director (think McG with Terminator Salvation). Liman makes it work really, really well. Edge of Tomorrow may seem like just a summer blockbuster, and that is what it is. But it's more than that. It's a good summer blockbuster. Really good. Most big movies seem like they put in human characters and emotion just because they have to. This movie seems like the characters and emotion are in there because the makers of the movie actually want them in there. It's fun and all, but it's also a solid movie on its own. I give Edge of Tomorrow 4.3 out of 5 stars. Remember, to keep up with my reviews and movie stuff in general you can follow me on Twitter @WhitsMovies and like me on Facebook at Facebook.com/WhitsMovies.