Edge of Tomorrow

“I’ll be the first to admit how skeptical I was about this one. Tom Cruise doesn’t have the best track record of late, and the futuristic scifi had echoes of Oblivion. Also conceptual scifi can be rather hit or miss. It’s the difference between The Matrix and Cloud Atlas. Not that Atlas was heavy on the scifi, but you get what I mean. Yet while Cruise has lost my willingness to follow him blindly into a film, Emily Blunt still has some solid street cred (we forgive Gulliver’s Travels because she was contractually obligated). Also, I knew that the source material, All You Need is Kill, is widely respected. I wish they would have kept the title. I get that it’s confusing and might have turned some people off, but Edge of Tomorrow is just such a blah name.

The movie, however, was not blah. Far from it. It was really really good. I sat there as the credits rolled, genuinely impressed. I still think Lego Movie is the year’s best so far, but this would be right behind it. Followed by X-Men tied with The Raid 2. I was impressed with how seemingly flawless the screenplay was. Given the complicated set up, a misstep would have been easy. Expected even.

Tom Cruise is Cage, a military officer who finds himself demoted and about to be shipped into combat against alien forces against his will. An incident occurs on the battlefield and he is endowed with the alien’s powers to rewind and relive a specific instance of time. It’s the Groundhog Day theory. Keep reliving the same day, and you’ll eventually get it right. He teams up with Emily Blunt’s Rita, the ultimate warrior and hero. She’s known for being earth’s biggest asset in one of the largest battles. Turns out, it’s because she too used to have the same power. She trains Cage and then formulates a plan to try and take down the big bad. Every day they get just a little further and further.

A couple things I loved about the screenplay that made it flawless. Once we establish how they’re strategizing and attacking, we get a bit of a fast forward view. We no longer have to see all the failed attempts, each one shorter until they’re montaged. Oh there’s some of that, but we get to a point where we can just skip to the last runs. The effect is really cool. And fun. So much fun. There’s A LOT of humor in the script, which I absolutely was not expecting. Very clever and very well placed. That’s the other part that makes it perfect. I want to see this up for Best Screenplay during awards season.

Can I say how much I loved that we had such a strong female co-lead? I wouldn’t have complained if it was even more male dominated, but having one absolutely bad ass babe was wonderful. I loved that she was tougher, smarter, and more heroic than Cage. C’mon Hollywood, why aren’t there more of these chicks?

Cruise not only delivered his best film in a while (at least since Ghost Protocol, and there was a good drought before that), I loved him again. His comic timing was perfect (especially early on when Cage was in coward mode). His charm was there. He was intense. He just did well, in a way that we haven’t seen from him.

I watched this with some dear old friends I hadn’t seen in a while (at least one of whom may be reading this, so Hi!!!!!). We chattered away all thru the end credits praising it. One thing I hadn’t picked up on, which they did, is how much it felt like a video game. Stopping, restarting from a certain point, continuing on incrementally each time. I instead saw and felt the frustration of only getting to progress slightly, and how much you’d have to redo to get to your last stop point. Yeah, I guess that does fit the video game feel too, huh?

Edge of Tomorrow – \m/ \m/ \m/ \m/

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