nesting * geeking * critiquing

Edge of Tomorrow

It’s been awhile since I’ve been to an early film screening. Edge of Tomorrow—starring Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt—was a great way to end that drought.

Tom Cruise doesn’t do much for me beyond Top Gun. And Minority Report notwithstanding, I haven’t connected with much of his foray into sci-fi. Oblivion wasn’t bad, this is true, but it alone was not compelling enough for me to be quivering with anticipation for Edge of Tomorrow.

I arrived at the theater with tempered expectations, and I left with overwhelming satisfaction.  Though imperfect, it’s a heck of a ride. edge of tomorrowIf you have any inclination whatsoever to see this movie, you need to catch
it on the big screen in 3D; I doubt even the finest in-home viewing will do it justice.

Either I’ve underestimated Cruise or this role in particular was masterfully executed. Rather than the arrogant, only-capable-man-in-the-world hero to which we’ve grown  accustomed, Cruise’s character William Cage is downright likable and even a little pathetic. His chemistry with Emily Blunt’s Rita Vrataski is exquisite, exhibiting camaraderie with the slightest hint of sexual tension.
Blunt, meanwhile, shines as a skilled warrior; there’s a peculiar and welcome balance to the way her character is  written. She’s tough without being overly rigid or  senselessly objectified. It’s a beautiful thing.

After a bit of a slow start—I guess they had to lay a foundation somehow—the film kicks into high gear, chock-full of action. Explosions and battles and aliens, oh my!

Until Cruise dies.

We follow the ‘groundhog day’ events of Cruise’s life/death, sequence after sequence with  variations ranging from slight to significant. The treatment could easily have turned tedious,
but the pacing and a healthy dose of humorous moments mercifully preclude that.

Only two elements of Edge of Tomorrow left me wanting:
First, the aliens. Their design is nothing short of captivating as they whip around like supercharged tentacle-thrashing tumbleweeds. When still, though, something seems amiss. I can’t pinpoint it exactly, but the perpetually gaping mouths probably contribute.
Second, the ending. Everything is meticulously executed until the last 20 or so minutes; Warner Bros. must’ve been insistent on keeping the run time under 2 hours. The last act doesn’t ruin one’s enjoyment by any means, it just doesn’t seem completely in check with the preceding 80+%.

If you’re looking for a solidly entertaining popcorn flick on/after June 5, I highly recommend
Edge of Tomorrow.

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