Thursday, September 25, 2014

Film Review: Edge of Tomorrow

Copyright: Warner Bros. Pictures
Tom Cruise fights aliens in a mechanized suit where one day replays itself over and over again.

Although the one-line plot summary cover the story top to bottom, this film is actually pretty good, mostly because of its brilliant editing. Cruise plays Major William Cage, a former PR guru turned public affairs officer who cozily follows an alien invasion of Earth from the position of a soldier who never saw any fighting. Unfortunately, he is ordered to take part in the invasion of Europe, the alien's main stronghold, and descends on a French beach along with the rest of the Alien D day attacking force.

He is killed immediately, and this is not a spoiler. Instead of going up to heaven to meet Elvis and Bruce Lee, Cage is back at the staging ground where he started his last day. He dies the second time around too.

The premise of the film is based on a Japanese novel All You Need Is Kill (named in the now famous senseless and elegantly style that is very Japan-like). Gradually, Cage must resolve the riddle of his predicament and find a way to save everyone else in the process, except of course the alien scum who are totally voiceless and faceless in this film (who cares about their motives and desires, we have Tom Cruise in mechanized battle armor!). Also, Bill Paxton is awesome in his role of a crazed, war-loving Master Sergeant Farell.

Doug Liman, like his previous films, made Edge of Tomorrow very flashy, choppy (in a good way) and glitzy. He is still uninterested in his characters apart from the necessary evolution from a jerk to a not-too-big-of-a-jerk-who-becomes-a-hero which he pulled in Jumper in almost identical manner. But, as I mentioned, his editing is awesome, and flawlessly (and in a very entertaining way) depicts what could have been a quagmire of repeating scenes which show Cage’s reliving of the same day, the same events and the same people (at least before the fighting beings).

As a block buster, the only problem I have in the visual sense is the crappy design of the aliens who look like metal spaghetti monsters (who might be, now when I think about it, worshiping the only true god of the universe). Cage and his sidekick kill a bunch of them, but it always feels insanely CGI flavored and too fast to be appreciated in a military science fiction fan boy way.