Thursday, July 3, 2014

Edge of Tomorrow

     So after the USA vs. Belgium game left a hole in my heart, I decided to get my anger at the gym. This was super effective and I was able to crank out some serious sweat, but unfortunately it made me late for this movie. I know. Faux pas. Whatever, I only missed like the first 5 minutes (which were probably pretty crucial to the exposition) so give me a break. Anyways, a new thing I want to do is link songs that you could listen to while reading this, so here they are. Keep in mind, they have nothing to do with the mood or plot of the movie in any way. Oh also, check out two series on comedy central called "Nathan for You" and "Drunk History", for they are epic and fun and funny.
     Edge of Tomorrow. Action movie with a badass Tom Cruise ~ fine, normal. Action movie with a badass Emily Blunt ~ what!? I'll be honest, when I first saw a trailer for this flick, I was totally turned off. A drawn out formula of an alien race attacking earth, Tom friggin Cruise in another world saving role (Shouts out to Oblivion), Emily friggin Blunt as an action star (stick to Devil Wears Prada?), and the same friggin song used in the trailer for Battle: Los Angeles. For frame of reference, Battle LA got a 35% on Rotten Tomatoes. That was generous. Literally the only thing that made me buy tickets was the consistently positive word of mouth. And the more I thought about it, the more I started to respect their twist on the washed up Earth is in danger plot.
These things can absorb and dodge bullets to equal
For one, this Alien race seems pretty unkillable even without their time travelling abilities, as seen in this clip. In addition, the relationship between Cruise and Blunt actually seems pretty genuine, which I credit to the fact that it isn't completely centered around unrealistic love; they only ever actually kiss for a brief second *cliche af*. But most of all, they utilize the most original plot driver since Groundhog Day. However, I can't tell if it was clever to use the "repeat the same day" idea or just lazy, because there was so much of the same damn footage in this movie. In the end, I was once again pleasantly surprised.

     Before talking about Emily Blunt of Tommy the Scientologist, I just want to mention that there were essentially no other characters in this movie. I say this because every supporting role was entirely expendable. Maybe three guys did anything to drive this plot, and these tasks could have most likely been carried out by the time traveling Cruise anyhow. But more on Cruise. He'll never regain the action magic he brought to the screen in Mission Impossible or Top Gun, but he came pretty damned close during the 113 minute film. There was some refreshing passion we didn't get to see in his recent work in Jack Reacher or Oblivion. His comedic timing was pretty on point, and he really nailed the look of confusion he often wore. But one thing anyone in his role had to do the most of is wake up, as also seen in Groundhog Day. Cruise most likely took lessons from Peter Gilroy to have that on such a tight lock. Emily Blunt taught me a few things about herself through her inspiring preformance. She honestly had one of the first true strong leading female actino roles done well. Sorry Katniss. I really didnt think Blunt had it in her. She was commanding, intimidating, and really stole most of the scenes she was in. I also learned that, by God, she is hot! When she first did that little push up shot I was like damn. Then she did it about 6 more times due to the time travel, and I was like hot damn. Anyways, the two had excellent chemistry, which really helped make the viewing more enjoyable.
    One thing worth noting is that this movie isn't a fluke hit. Obviously all viewers know Cruise as a big name action star, but he has produced more flops than successes, especially as of late. Besides quality preformances from him and Blunt, a major factor adding to the appeal was Doug Liman, the director. Some of you may not recognize the name, which is understandable. Allow me to refresh your memories. Liman directed a top three all time action thriller: Bourne Identity. Also producing the following two in the trilogy, Liman has quite a bit on his resume. While the plot to Edge of Tomorrow differs a lot from Bourne's, you can really feel Liman's influence throughout the action sequences, as well as during the in between dialogues.

     However, this movie wasn't all roses. There were some pretty long chunks scattered around the movie that left me bored and let my mind drift into other thoughts. This was mostly a result of the character's goals not being very clear until quite late in the film, which is typically fine in an action flick, but this one wasn't quiiiite entertaining enough for that. But the thing that pissed me off the most was the ending. I had a similar problem with the X-Men: Days of Future Past ending. This is a common flaw in big budget American film: a need for a happy ending. Even visionary directors succumb to the draw of a "more popular movie". In Edge of Tomorrow, Blunt's and Cruise's last ditch suicide ends up being all for naught—they kill the bad guy and still manage to live for some ridiculous reason. Honestly, some ridiculous reason. I cant think of one thing that would cause this miraculous hero-creating time travel if not to please the audience. But whatever, money is money, so I understand. In the end, this movie was a success because Cruise and Blunt put in serious work both acting wise and kicking mimic butt wise, as well as because the script didn't try to do too much with the time travel aspect. Don't forget your vegetables

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