My ratings: (5) Seek it out Now, (4) Great Film Worth the Ticket, (3) OK to Wait for DVD, (2) Fine if You’re Bored, (1) Avoid It
Edge of Tomorrow: 3.5
I wasn’t very impressed with the trailer to Edge of Tomorrow. I was concerned the plot – a soldier is forced to die repeatedly and relive the same day over and over again in an effort to overcome an alien army – would be too gimmicky. I was however impressed with many of the early reviews, and since I like Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt (not to mention a sci-fi summer popcorn flick) I decided to give it a try. Here’s what I think worked and what didn’t.
[spoilers are included in this review]
Cage, the main character of Edge of Tomorrow, starts out as a weak coward. Tom Cruise did a fabulous job portraying Cage as a weak coward but also made him likable and not comical – hard to do I think. Say what you will about his personal life Tom Cruise can still carry a movie in my opinion. He elevates the material he is given and is just fun and interesting to watch.
I loved Emily Blunt in this film. She played Rita, the most famous soldier in the war, and was very believable in all of the action scenes. She can express a lot just with her facial expressions which is very handy in battle scenes. Even more than Tom Cruise’s character Rita is someone the audience can easily cheer for. All she wants is to win the war against the aliens. If she has to sacrifice her own life or shoot Tom Cruise three dozen times to do it – that is what’s going to happen.
I was very concerned a film that has someone repeating the same day over and over again would have a really hard time not being boring and well, repetitive. Doug Limon did a wonderful job with these scenes in the film. Yes we were seeing the same thing over and over again but not literally. Limon was able to keep things fresh by changing camera angles, the portions of the dialogue we were hearing, the characters we would focus on, and of course Tom Cruise was able to mix up his interactions with the same scenes every time.
I also was pleasantly surprised the repeating of every day was an accident caused by the aliens and not something planned.
What Didn’t Work
I usually love Bill Paxton but I didn’t in this film. His Master Sargent came off as cartoonish to me and annoyed me more than entertained me. The role seemed like a big waste of his talents and could have been played by practically anyone.
THE BEGINNING AND THE ENDING
I know Cage starts the film as a coward who tries to blackmail his higher up to get out of his assignment at the front lines. But it just seemed too extreme to have Cage bumped down to private and put into a situation he had literally no chance of surviving at the beginning of the film. It worked for the plot but I found that move distracting to me as a viewer.
And the ending to me was a bit of a cheat. After Cruise gets the blood transfusion we see his eyes go black for a bit. Maybe that is telling us he has NOT in fact lost his time traveling powers, but why does he wake up somewhere else after he dies? Let me know if I missed something here or if the makes of the film were just insistent on a happy ending.
Too Close to Call
I thought the effects in the film were very well done but the aliens themselves were a bit of a bore. I would have liked to know more about them and their specific motivations. I did really like the alphas – it’s fun to have several different kinds of aliens in a battle. But overall there was nothing very memorable about the aliens in Edge of Tomorrow.
I am not impressed with most 3-D films. Avatar and Life of Pi are the grand exceptions. The 3-D was handled very well in Edge of Tomorrow but would I recommend seeing it that way? Not really. I can see why they made it in 3-D, unlike World War Z where I thought it was a odd choice, but it’s not a “must see in 3-D” pick for me.