Quantcast

Monday, July 28, 2014         

MOVIE REVIEW


 Print   Email   Comment | View 6 Comments   Most Popular   Save   Post   Retweet

Fight, die, repeat

Tom Cruise bites the dust again and again — getting a chance to improve each time — in a fun, high-concept sci-fi picture

By Associated Press

POSTED:


The time-shifting sci-fi thriller "Edge of Tomorrow" has perfectly encapsulated what it is to be a summertime moviegoer. We're dropped into a battlefield of digital effects with the fate of the world at stake. Torrents of gunfire and explosions surround. Some alien clonks us over the head.

We black out and it all happens again. And again.

"Edge of Tomorrow," in which Tom Cruise plays an officer who continually relives a day of combat against extraterrestrials, probably isn't a commentary on the repetitiveness of today's blockbusters. Its star, after all, has been the unchanging, unstoppable avatar of big summer movies.

But in the film directed by Doug Liman ("Swingers," "The Bourne Identity"), the action-star persona of Cruise is put into a phantasmagorical blender. As military marketer Maj. William Cage, he's thrown into battle against his will by an unsympathetic general (the excellent Brendan Gleeson), and then finds himself stuck in a mysterious time loop.

Cruise dies dozens of times over and over, often in comical ways. Does this sound like a great movie, or what?

The selling point of "Edge of Tomorrow" may indeed be seeing one of Hollywood's most divisive icons reduced to Wile E. Coyote. He's like a real-life version of the video game "Contra," with seemingly endless life. Dying again and again, Cruise has rarely been so likable.

‘EDGE OF TOMORROW’
Rated: R
* * *
Opens Friday

Based on the 2004 Japanese novella "All You Need Is Kill," "Edge of Tomorrow" begins in the de rigueur fashion of news clips that catch us up on five years of alien invasion that has — with historical symmetry — encompassed Europe and left the beaches of northern France as the primary point of battle.

Cage is dumped on an aircraft carrier, callously sent into battle by a commanding officer (a very fun Bill Paxton, spouting lines like "Battle is the great redeemer" in a Kentucky accent), and outfitted in a high-tech exoskeleton he doesn't know how to operate. When he lands on Normandy or thereabouts, he's an easy target for the aliens, dubbed Mimics.

The Mimics resemble black, scampering dreadlock wigs or electrified Rorschach tests. When a particularly big one swallows Cage, his day resets. This is "Groundhog Day" with guns.

This time around, though, it's not Sonny and Cher that wake him up each day but a drill sergeant calling him "maggot." Whereas Bill Murray got to learn how to play the piano and fall in love, Cage must become a better killer. He strives to make it through the battle, getting a little further each time before dying. He quickly pairs with the most celebrated fighter in the war (Emily Blunt), who recognizes his strange predicament.

"Edge of Tomorrow," which was penned by Christopher McQuarrie, Jez Butterworth and John-Henry Butterworth, entertains in its narrative playfulness — another entry in the burgeoning fad of puzzle-making sci-fi, as seen in "Inception" and "Looper." Few filmmakers have Liman's knack for smart plotting; his much earlier "Go" inventively connected three intertwined stories.

The briskness does fade in the second half of "Edge of Tomorrow." And the title (perhaps the most belabored way possible of saying "tonight") could also use a replay. But among countless sequels and remakes, the high-concept "Edge of Tomorrow" — both a Tom Cruise celebration and parody — is the right kind of a rerun.

Review by Jake Coyle, Associated Press






 Print   Email   Comment | View 6 Comments   Most Popular   Save   Post   Retweet

COMMENTS
(6)
You must be subscribed to participate in discussions
By participating in online discussions you acknowledge that you have agreed to the TERMS OF SERVICE. An insightful discussion of ideas and viewpoints is encouraged, but comments must be civil and in good taste, with no personal attacks. Because only subscribers are allowed to comment, we have your personal information and are able to contact you. If your comments are inappropriate, you may receive a warning, and if you persist with such comments you may be banned from posting. To report comments that you believe do not follow our guidelines, email commentfeedback@staradvertiser.com.
Leave a comment

Please login to leave a comment.
Kai37 wrote:
Cage?
on June 6,2014 | 08:56AM
awahana wrote:
Risky Business was the first film of his I watched, Minority Report the last.
No more. No thanks.
on June 6,2014 | 10:28AM
Skyler wrote:
Art imitates life.
on June 6,2014 | 11:18AM
st1d wrote:
silly little man.
on June 6,2014 | 11:32AM
csdhawaii wrote:
I haven't said this about a Tom Cruise movie in a long, long time but...I want to see this one.
on June 6,2014 | 11:39AM
gtracer66 wrote:
I didn't like "Groundhog Day" so I doubt I'd like this one, even with the addition of guns and explosions.
on June 7,2014 | 01:29AM
IN OTHER NEWS
Latest News/Updates
Blogs