Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Edge of Tomorrow (Tomorrow's Edge)

A few days ago I took my pops out to see Edge of Tomorrow, the new military sci fi with Tommy C. and Emily Blunt about a guy who dies and starts the day over (bonus points if you can do the math and see what day I actually went to it).  To be completely honest, a large reason I wanted to check this flick out is because I thought Tom Cruise was gonna give me some SURE material to use against him-a la Valkyrie in my post about the English language in all movies.  But I gotta give him credit, this movie was actually pretty good!

So avoiding details here, but the basis is there’s a giant alien invasion and early on Major Cage (now doubt based on a future descendant of Nic) and a special magical Hogwarts alien die in the same explosion, swap blood, and Tom absorbs the alien’s magical powers to “reset the day” every time it/he dies-a defense machinism that lets the alien change fate to prevent it’s own death.  Of course the aliens are super high tech and Tom Cruise and his Allied forces use futuristic fighting suits, not unlike the ones seen in Avatar (the blue alien one, not the last airbender one, which was total crap).

The idea was really original, and pretty freakin cool.  Shades of Inception thrown into a futuristic military war film.  Emily Blunt did an awesome job of playing a hardcore herione role to whip Tommy Boy into shape because the same thing happened to her when she killed a magic alien.  It’s pretty entertaining when she’s teaching him to fight, because every time he messes up and gets hurt she just shoots him in the head to start over.  He doesn't really like it but he can shut up and deal.  The film had a couple points that had me scratching my head though, regardless of the “free passes” that are usually granted to alien movies.

Point A.  The first time you see Tom Cruise and his army of soldiers wearing robot suits, there is supposed to be some huge Patriotic feeling as we admire the men who are throwing their lives down to save humanity.  BUT THE ROBOTS LOOK SO STUPID.  They’re all slouched over as they wander slowly and clumsily to the helicopters.  At one point Tom tries to run away and he literally makes if 47 inches before getting caught.  It gets better in the battle scenes when they’re actually shooting and fighting, but a lot of drama was lost as these hunks of metal sulk toward the launch pad looking like they just ate all three meals of the day at Taco Bell (can we talk about how hard Taco Bell is working to make every American die like, TOMORROW?  They have those old guys in all their commercials but if you eat more than 12 or so Taco Bell meals in your lifetime you’ll NEVER live to see grey hair).

Point B.  Cage is actually a PR guy, just a pretty face who puts on an Army uniform to get people to buy War Bonds and turn into Rosie the Riveters and whatnot.  He’s sent into battle because he tries to run after being ordered to cover a battle on the front lines.  But even in the future how is the punishment for deserting (or anything) loading this dude with grenades and rocket launchers and putting him on the front line?  Cage specifically states he has no combat training, which I’ve heard is valuable in combat.  Speaking of PR, what kind a PR nightmare would it be if be dropped a claymore in the chopper hanger or something?  His suckiness in battle also leads to the film starting off a little slow because he dies so much, forcing us to watch the same scenes and lines 4-5 times, but I suppose that couldn’t be avoided given the plot line.
Point C.  Why do these aliens (or most aliens) need claws and teeth and stuff?  They don't eat...

And finally a clever observation my Dad made-you have an alien race, that covers ground faster than man-made machines and burrows underground where you can’t see them.  They can also control time and reset days as often as they need to prevent any of their “alpha” soldiers from dying.  Given those circumstances it would probably take about 45 minutes to conquer the entire planet.  Which like I’m not worried about because I’m pretty sure this alien race doesn’t exist, but still.  The thought that the human race would have a shot seems a little far-fetched.
But every time my mind started to wonder about one of these holes, some weird but entertaining explanation would pop up or Emily Blunt would do something that inspired me and I’d get right back into the action!  Any sci-fi film is going to have holes like that, it’s just a matter of keeping the story moving down the track before you give up on it, which this one certainly did.  Overall I’d say we’re dealing with a solid 7/10.  Not an Avatar by any means, but definitely a step in the right direction for Sweet Tom.

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