Monday, June 16, 2014

Movie Review: The Edge of Tomorrow

Rating: ***1/2

I always love an intricate story (since I'm a storyteller) and admire the writer's ability to keep it all straight. The Edge of Tomorrow, the new Tom Cruise movie and co-starring Emily Blunt, was one of those movies with extreme thoughtfulness to details to make it work.

The movie begins right as the world is about to be conquered by aliens called Mimics. Tom Cruise's character begins as a cowardly spokesperson who gets suddenly thrust in the invasion on the beach of France (think D Day in World War II). With absolutely no combat experience, Cruise is thrust right into the "shit" and within moments is not only being dropped from an airplane with no experience, but also lands on the ground to face the enemy. He is (naturally) instantly killed, but before his demise he lays eyes on Emily Blunt's character and a look passes between them, and then she dies and Cruise dies ... or so we think. All of a sudden, he wakes up with a jolt back to the beginning of the day before the invasion, and that's where the rest of the story unfolds. In a kind of Groundhog Day conundrum, Cruise must first figure out what is happening to him, and then he needs to unravel what to do about it.

This movie moves with voracity and repetition that could have easily bogged it down in boredom. The directors did just the right amount of "fast-forward" and left just enough gaps to keep the audience guessing and intrigued. It's a clever, complicated premise, and I imagine the writers had some serious intellectual mapping to do to keep it straight. It's definitely a great summer popcorn movie with intelligence.

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