Sunday, June 8, 2014

Edge of Tomorrow Review

The last couple months have been very good for me when it comes to movies. Starting in April, there was Captain America: The Winter Solider. That was followed in May by The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Godzilla, Million Dollar Arm, and X-Men: Days of Future Past. All these movies have been excellent movies in my opinion and if we cheat a little and call The Winter Soldier a Summer movie, we can say it's been a great Summer. However, despite all these great Summer movies, there has been one movie that has risen above the rest and that of course is current movie at hand, Edge of Tomorrow. Going into this movie, I was intrigued. I enjoyed Oblivion last year and in general I've also enjoyed Tom Cruise movies. That and a sci-fi version of Groundhog Day sounded like a lot of fun. So yes, I did expect this movie to be good. However, I did not expect to be completely blown away. But I was. And now it's almost certain that Edge of Tomorrow ends up as one of my favorite movies of the whole year. It's that good.

Live. Die. Repeat. That's been the slogan of this movie that you've seen advertised and that's exactly what this movie is. Earth is being attacked by an alien race and to defend this attack, the military has developed these super-soldier suits. Tom Cruise plays Major William Cage, who, despite being an officer, is not much of a soldier at all as he hasn't even had a desire to participate in battle. However, due to a certain chain of events, he is forced into this battle and when they go to attack, the alien force is waiting for them and completely wipes them out. After being killed in battle himself, Cage wakes up and finds himself reliving the same day over again. Now on the surface, this sounds like a redundant and rehashed movie. The time loop idea is far from an original concept and we just barely saw a Tom Cruise sci-fi movie last year in Oblivion. However, there are a lot of things that combine together to make this movie work.

The first thing that makes this movie work is the fact that the movie is a ton of fun to watch. It goes to show that even if a movie isn't a completely original concept, if the movie is executed well it can still feel very fresh. That's what happens here. First off, it is hilarious watching Tom Cruise die over and over. In all the time loop movies and TV shows that I've seen, that's been my favorite part. That sounds a bit morbid, but it's true. And in this movie it is done very well. On the flip side, though, once Cruise has gone through the loops enough to know exactly what is going to happen, it is also super fun to watch him completely kick trash. Tom Cruise has been in the action star business for a long time and it is good to know that despite being 52 years old, he still has what it takes to carry a movie on his back as if he was still in his 30's. 

This movie isn't just a fun action sci-fi movie, though. The story itself is very smart and very well written. There were several times in the movie where the pace and the feel of the movie changed and this was done at the perfect times so as to not feel redundant and over-done at any time. Not too much action. Not too much drama. Not too much romance. Not too much humor. It was the perfect blend of everything and thus it did a very good job of keeping your attention the whole movie. To help things move along even more perfectly, the acting in the movie was excellent, especially from our two stars, Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt. In addition to that, the chemistry between them was excellent. Tom Cruise grows closer and closer to her the whole movie, but on her side of things it isn't quite the same because he has to introduce himself to her again each time he gets reset. This has a 50 First Dates type of feel and it is excellent. Even more impressive is that the chemistry is this good despite Tom Cruise being old enough to be Emily Blunt's father in real life. He is 52 and she is only 31. This gives Cruise even more kudos because in this he looks and acts like he is only in his 30's, thus seeming like the perfect match for Emily Blunt's character. This was really really risky casting, but it worked perfectly. 

Overall, I anticipated a good movie out of Edge of Tomorrow, but what I got was a movie that hit all the right chords for me. Even with good reviews, I did not expect this to be my favorite movie of the summer because of all the excellent movies that have come out so far, but that is exactly what happened. The best comparison in this aspect is to last year's Now You See Me. Sure, these two movies have nothing in common when it comes to story and whatnot, but in both cases I went into a movie that looked cool and left with it being my favorite movie of the summer up to that point. Last year I gave Now You See Me a 9.5/10 and it ended up as my number four movie of the year. This year I will also give Edge of Tomorrow a 9.5/10 and I anticipate it getting a similar slot on this year's best movies of the year list, but of course we have to actually wait for the rest of 2014 to play out before anything is set in stone.

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