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Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Movie Review: Edge of Tomorrow

What would you do if every time you died the day started over? In June 2014, we watched as Cage tried to figure out why this was happening, and how to stop it.

Directing this 113 minute action/sci-fi is Doug Liman.

Making their way through this do-over is: Tom Criuse as Cage, Emily Blunt as Rita, Bill Paxton as Master Sergeant Farell, Brendan Gleeson as General Brigham, Jonas Armstrong as Skinner, Tony Way as Kimmel, Kick Gurry as Griff, Franz Drameh as Ford, Charlotte Riley as Nance, Dragomir Mrsic as Kuntz and Noah Taylor as Dr. Carter.

After the alien invasion a war broke out, and for 5 years that war has been going on. As the aliens or Mimics (as we call them) get a better foot hold, humanity comes up with an exoskeleton power armor in hopes of turning the tides in battle. Spokesman Major William Cage has done a lot of face time in front of the cameras
helping to promote the war efforts. Being in front of the camera is something that Cage doesn't mind doing at all. So when Cage is ordered to join the front line on a huge military operation to continue promoting the war, he expresses how he's not a solider and refuses to do as he's told. That act gets Cage stripped of rank and on the front line anyway. Unfortunately, a solider Cage is not, and death finds him quickly on the battlefield. So when he wakes up on the helicopter that brought him to the base with the memory of his death, Cage is confused. Soon he realizes each time he dies... his day starts over again.

I thought this was pretty cool to know: the movie was based off of a manga (Japanese comic) called All You Need Is Kill (2004) written by Hiroshi Sakurazaka. Kind of makes me curious enough to want to check out the manga, because usually the book is always better than the movie.

Apparently the flick has gone through some writers. Joby Harold first penned out the script to pitch idea to Warner Bros. Months before filming, directer Liman didn't like what was going on so Harold was replaced by Jez and John-Henry Butterworth to fix the script in some places. Well, Liman still wasn't happy with the ending so with only weeks before filming, the job went to Christopher McQuarrie to come up with a better ending for this alien invasion. Personally, if a better ending was what Liman was looking for maybe he should have tried one more writer. Nothing against McQuarrie, I just thought the ending was pretty clean and weak. Either way, after the script has changed hands so much and not know who changed or added what, I don't really know who to thank for a pretty cool script. So, we'll just go with, good job... everybody involved? Yeah that should cover it.
                                                             

Anyway, the storyline was cool and it's been awhile since I've seen a Groundhogs Day (repeating the day over and over) kind of storyline. Then you add in aliens, cool looking sci-fi battle tech AND explosions! Well, you've got a Groundhogs Day sci-fi... without Bill Murry. Which is kind of sad to think about, but oh well. For the most part, the story is entertaining, but I was starting to get burned out on the repeats even though they try to fast forward through a bunch to add to the timeline/story. I found I have a limit when it comes to watching Cruise wake up (during a camera close-up) startled and scared. I like Cruise... just not that much, and no one's pretty in a close up, just saying. Of course as the do over story's go, you keep doing it till you get it right. What I liked about this one was Cruise is a coward at first, which is something you don't see a lot of from him. Yeah he becomes a hero (we knew that would happen), but watching him run like a scared rabbit was kind of cool.

The playthrough was good. I thought Dion Beebe did an excellent job with the cinematography and caught some pretty awesome scenes that helped make the movie so good. I thought the pace was good, it keeps moving pretty steady with very little slow down moments, and it held my attention all the way through. They went for a few comedy spots here and there, nothing slap stick mind you, just quick laughs, which I have to say worked for the situation. Downside, like most time/space story lines you quickly find a reason to question the time/space rules or reasons they are using for the movie. Upside, if you're like me, then something shiny will come along and you won't care because it was a cool looking shiny.

Now, the special effects from top to bottom were really good looking. The aliens were different looking but in a good way and they flowed smoothly when they moved around. As for the exoskeleton power armor that (production designer) Oliver Scholl, (lead builder) Pierre Bohanna and (costume designer) Kate Hawley came up with. I have to say it looked pretty cool and they made something that fit the storyline. Apparently it took four people to help the actors in/out of those 85 pound suits, that had to suck a bit. Back to what I was saying, visually everything looks great, sets, costumes etc., the 178 million dollar budget bought a lot of cool stuff.

The cast isn't filled with a lot of star power, but the power the film has does well. I thought Paxton's character fit him well and Blunt's character was a badass. Although Cruise's character never really makes it to the badass mark, he still did a great job. Watching Cruise's character change and grow just showed why he's a killer actor.

Overall, it's an alien invasion and humanity's last stand kind of movie. Yeah, not everyone's kind of flick, and not really original. Yet for the fans of sci-fi, it's worth a watch because you'll get your moneys worth of explosions and other cool stuff. Also if you're a Cruise fan, you'll definitely want in on this one. It's definitely worth catching all that this flick has going on in the theater.

It's rated PG-13 for violence and language.

4 stars


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