Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Edge of Tomorrow

Last night I went out with a few friends to watch the new film with Tom Cruise and Emily Brunt, Edge of Tomorrow.  It's based on the Japanese light novel All you need is Kill (which I have not read).  As such I can't compare it to the source material; judged on its own merits, however, I enjoyed it and would definitely recommend it.

The premise can be described as Groundhog Day meets alien invasion flick, with Cruise starting out unlikable and gradually growing thanks to his experiences.  The alien invasion side of things provides our context for the repeated day, as well as a clear motivation for our characters.  The aliens in contrast are not particularly well developed, and don't need to be for this movie.  They do prove clever enough to serve as worthy antagonists and force our heroes to be smart.

One thing I strongly liked about this film was Emily Brunt's character, Rita Vrataski.  She is a soldier, believably hard both in combat and character, who spends her time wearing realistic military clothes and armour.  In short, she is a strong action character who happens to be a woman, and whose main relationship with Cage (Cruise) is as a mentor figure.

(Spoilers follow below the fold)

The thing I liked the least about this film was its conclusion.  The climactic scene in Paris was very satisfying, but the need for a Hollywood happy ending was disappointing though not surprising.  Indeed, the use of the time-resetting trick to bring the humans back to life does not play fair with how it had worked throughout the rest of the movie; why did time go back two days?  Why did the aliens not get reset?  Not to mention that the shock wave from the grenade explosion would probably have already killed Cage before the blood reached him.  Of course, there was no way the film would end with everyone dead, the war won by actions that no one would remember or even know about.  But perhaps it should have.

That aside, though, Edge of Tomorrow is still something I am glad I saw and gets my stamp of approval.

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