Sunday, June 8, 2014

Movie Review: "Edge of Tomorrow"

Tom Cruise dies over and over again in the new sci-fi/action film, Edge of Tomorrow, having to relive the same day each time he dies.  In the film, Earth has been invaded by aliens who can relive days, with Tom Cruise's character accidentally tapping into this power and trying to use it to end the war.  It's a little complicated to wrap your head around at first, but the movie quickly catches you up to speed and before long you're playing by the filmmakers' rules.

I'll go ahead and get to the point, this movie is fun.  If you're looking for explosions, laughs, and some generally likable characters, you can't find another new movie out in theaters this weekend that will sate your appetite the same way this film does.  With all of that said, the film doesn't give you more than a little taste of what could have been.

I haven't read the manga this film is based off of, but from the very first frame of the film, there felt like there was something missing here.  Sure, the story is coherent and engaging enough to warrant seeing, but I kept feeling like there was something special in this premise that still remains buried underneath the surface.  I feel that the film often barrels forward with the narrative at the cost of the characters.

Majority of the film is told from Tom Cruise's perspective, but every now and then we are told he's lived a scenario multiple times without actually seeing him living and learning from that particular scenario.  It's not necessarily a plot hole, it just feels rushed and not as fulfilling as it would be if we saw these moments happen.  It's this rapid fire narrative that makes it hard to invest fully in the relationship between Tom Cruise and his kick butt love interest, played by Emily Blunt.  The moments where Cruise falls for her aren't often represented onscreen and are just inferred as having happened, so we don't quite feel it.

Ultimately, Edge of Tomorrow comes close at times to being something special, but always falls just short.  In many ways, I think had the film taken more time developing the relationships while also basking a little bit more in the wonder of the futuristic technology, and taken more time to build up the suspense before action scenes, the film would have been stronger.  I really don't say this all that often, but I honestly believe that had the movie been maybe thirty minutes longer, and done a few of the aforementioned things, it could have been a science fiction classic, but as it is, Edge of Tomorrow is merely a fun Summer movie.  Even so, Edge of Tomorrow has enough explosions and enjoyable moments to keep you entertained.  Bottom line, if you're wanting to just sit back and go on a roller coaster ride for two hours, this is the right film for you this weekend.

I give Edge of Tomorrow a C+!

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