FlixChatter Double Review: Edge of Tomorrow

EdgeOfTomorrowPoster

This weekend I finally saw my first movie on the big-screen after my holiday. Ted has seen it earlier in the week, here’s what we think on Tom Cruise’s latest blockbuster.

Ted’s Review

For the last 10 years or so, Tom Cruise has starred in so many big-budgeted action pictures that I lost count. I think he’s decided not to pursue the golden statue anymore and why not keep making big movies while studios are still willing to foot the bills right? His latest is another spectacle and I was surprised that I enjoyed as much as I did, after seeing the trailers and heard about the concept, I wasn’t that interest in it at all.

Set in the not too distant future, the world has been invaded by an alien race called “Mimics” and most of the western Europe has been overtaken by these aliens. After several defeats, humankind have developed new battle suits called “Jackets” and were able to fight back. As the film opens, the military are planning a surprise attack on the beaches of France and we were introduced to General Brigham (the always great Brendan Gleeson). He orders Major William Cage (Cruise) to be sent to the battlefield with a camera crew, the military is expecting a victory and want to show the world that we’re winning the war against the aliens. Since Cage’s background is in advertising, he’s never been to battle and sort of a coward. He tried to weasel his way out by trying to blackmail the General. Brigham responds by put him under arrest and knock him out. Cage was then dumped at a Heathrow base and here he meets Master Sergeant Farrell (Bill Paxton), again he tries to weasel his way out of a combat. 

Unfortunately for him, Farrell was told that Cage is deserter and a con man, so he’s forced to join J-Squad. The next day the soldiers arrived at the beach and were ambushed by the “Mimics”. Apparently they knew about the surprise attack and were waiting for the humans to arrive. Cage was able to escape unscathed when the helicopter clashed. Since he’s never been in a battle, he had no clue what he was doing. While running around in the battlefield, he saw another soldier Rita Vrataski (Emily Blunt). He witness her being killed right in front of him. Then later he was killed by a Mimic but somehow he inherits the alien’s power and woke up a day earlier back at the Heathrow base. If you seen the trailers, then you pretty much know how the story will unfold, Cage will have live the same day over and over again and learn how to defeat the alien.

Three screenwriters (Christopher McQuarrie, Jez Butterworth and John-Henry Butterworth) were credited for this film, it’s based on a Japanese graphic novel called “All You Need Is Kill” by Hiroshi Sakurazaka. Considering that the concept has been done several times before, I thought they did a good job of coming up something “new” to keep audiences interested. Personally, I don’t like this kind of concept, the idea of a character relieving the same event over and over again just doesn’t excites me. But here the writers kept me interested and threw in a couple of surprises here and there.

EdgeOfTomorrowStills1

I’ve always been a fan of Doug Liman, I mean here’s a man who pretty much introduced Jason Bourne to the world, well to those who’ve never read the books anyway. Sure his last couple of films weren’t that great but I still think he’s a good director. Here he crafted a good thriller that didn’t take itself too seriously, I’m getting tire of big movies the last few years trying to be too serious (I’m looking at you Godzilla and Man of Steel). In a way this film reminds me of some of the good 90s summer flicks, it’s fun and didn’t try to insult the audiences’ intelligence. With a budget of around $180mil, you can expect to see some great visual effects and action set pieces; I was particularly impressed with climatic shootout/chase.

The performances by the two leads were pretty good, Cruise was quite amusing the cowardly character at the beginning of the film. Of course as the film progresses, he becomes the tough action hero like his other roles. Blunt was quite effective as the love interest/mentor to Cruise’s character. I’m just glad they didn’t make her out to be another damsel in distress like most big action pictures of the summer.

What’s holding this film down from being great, for me at least, is that it just reminded me too much of Groundhog Day. Yes it’s not the same genre but everything that happened in this film, we’ve seen them before. Also, I was a bit disappointed with the design of the “Mimics”, they’re sort of cross between the bugs from Starship Troopers and aliens from all those Alien films.

But I was quite surprised how much I enjoyed this film and I think if you’re in the mood for a good sci-fi/action, this one is recommended. Heck if you hate Tom Cruise, you might enjoy seeing him die over and over again.

threeandahalfreels

TedS_post


Ruth’s Review

I have to admit that when I first saw this trailer, I thought ‘meh, this is just another Tom Cruise action flick.’ In fact, until reviews started popping up, I was set on just renting this one on a slow night. Well, I’m glad I gave it a shot.

I’m not going to rehash the plot again as Ted’s done that in his review. What I did like about this movie is the amount of humor, which I didn’t expect. I’m glad they did though, I mean this movie worked as it didn’t take itself so darn seriously (*cough* Godzilla *cough*). Also, we see a slightly different version of Tom Cruise than what I’m used to seeing in his action flicks, at least in the beginning of the film. His character looks bewildered pretty much the entire first act as he’s a self-described wimp who’s never been on any combat “I can’t stand the sight of blood. Not even a paper cut.” Ha! The always-fun-to-watch Brendan Gleeson‘s expression in this scene is such a hoot. Nice to see Cruise play a character who’s not always in control all the time, though of course by the end, he’s back to ‘savior of the world’ mode.

I really enjoyed the first act, which could be described as action comedy at times. The comparison to Groundhog Day is inevitable and actually quite fitting, as the main character had to relive the same day over and over. The sci-fi element isn’t introduced until midway through the film, which I thought is a pretty interesting, albeit not entirely original, concept. Yet the writers manage to surprise me in that the story kept me engaged throughout. I did get a bit battle fatigue after a while, especially in the third act.

EdgeOfTomorrowStills2

Fortunately Cruise and Emily Blunt were fun to watch. I’ve always been a fan of miss Blunt and she shines once again here. I don’t normally associate her with bad-ass heroine roles, but I guess she did show her action chops in Looper in 2012. She looked extremely fit as the super soldier, surely guys don’t mind the repeated scenes of her doing her mighty push-ups. Yet there’s still a vulnerability about her that makes her human. She’s not a Lara Croft type character who’s practically indestructible. She has a pretty decent chemistry with Cruise, at least better than in the last few female pairings he’s had lately. Speaking of Lara Croft, interesting to see Noah Taylor who was Lara’s equivalent of Bond’s Q made an appearance here playing Rita’s scientist friend.

Edge of Tomorrow is definitely a great sci-fi action, it’s funny, entertaining and definitely offers you a couple of hours of fun escapism. I wouldn’t say it’s the best movie of the year as some are saying on Twitter though. For me, a movie would have to hit the emotional high points and be really invested in the characters in order to be truly leave a mark. I would say that this one is much better than Elysium and something I’d actually recommend, but that’s it. I have to give props to Doug Liman for pulling off the ‘repetitive’ aspect of the story that is far from boring, and to Cruise for still being capable enough to carry a tentpole Summer movie with the same intensity he’s shown in nearly 40 films. Whether or not he’s still as bankable is a different story though.

In terms of special effects, I personally don’t see anything ground breaking. It serves the story but it’s not so visually-arresting that made me go ‘wow.’ I’m glad we saw the movie in 2D with Dolby Atmos sound though, that is the perfect combo as the Atmos sound definitely enhances the experience whilst most 3D offerings are so unnecessary. If you’re looking for something fun to do at the movies, you could do a lot worse than seeing this one.

threeandahalfreels


What do you think of Edge of Tomorrow? 

Advertisements

65 thoughts on “FlixChatter Double Review: Edge of Tomorrow

  1. Excellent double review!

    I’m really sick of Tom Cruise and the types of movies he continues to make. Originally, I completely wrote this off because as you say, it felt like Groundhog’s Day all over again, except with aliens. I do enjoy Emily Blunt, so I’m glad she did well, but I’ll probably save this one for Netflix.

    1. Thanks Ashley! Ahah well that’s generally how I feel about Cruise too, and that’s why I didn’t even want to see this on the big screen. But hey I ended up liking it, and miss Blunt doesn’t disappoint. I’d say it’s very much worth a rent (even matinee) just for her!

  2. Good reviews. I had a fun time with this. Even if the premise itself was a gimmick that’s been used before, it still worked because of how much they did with it.

  3. Nice review, Ted. I think it’s a rather clever concept and it’s been ages since Ground Hog Day. Why not put a twist on it with a futuristic sci-fi? I’m okay with that. Emily Blunt is the one to watch here; I’m glad, too, she didn’t play a predictable damsel in distress. This summer needed a couple blockbusters that didn’t plop. This is one that delivered solid entertainment.

    1. Ted S.

      Thanks Cindy. Yeah I really dug Blunt in the movie, I was never a big fan of hers like a lot of people, but after this movie I think I’m a fan now.

  4. Glad you both liked it. I thought it was great and Ruth, you’re spot on about the humour in it. It just shows that not every movie has to take itself so seriously. Liking the double review 🙂

    1. Thanks Mikey! Usually I post double reviews when we disagree on something but in this case, we kinda felt the same about the movie, ahah.

  5. Ruth, although you rated it the same as Ted, I think you might have liked it more. I agree it wasn’t a show-stopper or ground breaking but it was much better than Elysium, that’s for sure. Characters have to bond and rub off of each other to care for them. Totally missing in Elysium. I don’t mind Tom Cruise at all and I was quite happy to see Blunt run the show and do a fine job with the film. 🙂

    1. Hi Cindy! I didn’t mind Cruise here either esp since he’s so goofy in the beginning, well smarmy first but then once he’s demoted as Private that’s when the hilarity ensued. Blunt is a highlight as she is in many others, nice to see a genuine female heroine in a blockbuster for a change!

  6. jackdeth72

    Hi, Ted and Ruth:

    I looks like someone got a LOT of money and stretched out and augmented a live action/CGI film based on the comedic animated short, ‘Bambi meets Godzilla’. Over and over and over again!

    Also sensing some upgraded Combat Suits from ‘Starship Trooper’. And an oblique, high tech hat tip to Joe Haldeman’s novel, ‘Forever Peace’. In letting weaponry and technology advance to where the human element is negligible to irrelevant.

    Though, I wouldn’t mind seeing Tom Cruise die several time. There’s always Emily Blunt to hold my interest!

    1. Ted S.

      Hey Jack, you know somehow the movie reminds of Starship Troopers but with no blood during the battle scenes, lol. Hope you’ll enjoy it when you see it.

    2. “I wouldn’t mind seeing Tom Cruise die several times…” Mwahahaha then you’d love this one Kevin 😉 But yeah miss Blunt is more than capable to hold anyone’s interest.

  7. Tom

    Great reviews you guys! May I also add that Bill Paxton was just a ton of fun here? I can’t believe I didn’t even mention him in my own review, but he contributed a lot to my own enjoyment!

    1. Ted S.

      Thanks Tom. Yeah it’s nice seeing Bill Paxton on the big screen again, haven’t seen him in anything for a while.

    1. Ted S.

      Thanks! It seems many people have enjoyed this film, maybe the word of mouth will help its box office numbers in the upcoming weeks. Or maybe it will be a hit once it comes out on home video.

  8. I also originally did not think this movie had much potential, but buzz on the street as both of you mentioned is that it is not that bad. I totally want to see it now. Great review guys!

    1. Ted S.

      Hope you’ll enjoy it when you see it. Had not been for the free press screening, I would probably skip seeing it in the theater. Glad I saw it on the big screen though.

    2. Hi Melissa! I’d say it’s worth a matinee if you don’t want to pay full price. Just skip the 3D tho if they show it in a theater with Dolby Atmos, it’s worth it. I LOVE the sound quality!

    1. Hi Fernando! It’s nuts that Cruise still looks so youthful for being over 50! But yeah miss Blunt hasn’t disappointed me yet, LOVE her!

  9. Great reviews! For me this is definitely an enjoyable summer blockbuster – one of the best of the season thus far, though it is early – and pretty nifty in the intelligence department. And amen to the 3D put down! (I’m not a fan either).

    Adam.

    1. Ted S.

      I’m not the biggest fan of 3D either but surprisingly, the 3D effects in this film weren’t that bad. There were actually some scenes that looked cool in 3D. Unlike some of the big movies this year, the 3D did add something to the experience.

      1. Ah that’s good to hear Ted. I’ll probably never be a 3D convert (Gravity excluded) but there’s no denying that sometimes it can create the occasional cool moment. Glad to know it works for EoT!

        1. Ted S.

          Yeah only certain movies you need to see in 3D and Gravity is one of them. But this one doesn’t need to be seen in that format, save your money and just see it on 2D.

      2. Interesting to hear you say that Ted, since most 3D is rubbish. I think the 2D is perfectly adequate for me, but I LOVE the Dolby Atmos sound!

        1. Ted S.

          Yeah I wasn’t looking forward to the 3D experience but when the movie started playing, I thought it wasn’t bad at all. Unlike X-Men or Capt. America 2, some of the scenes looked pretty cool in 3D. I liked the Atmos sound too, not as impressive as Godzilla but still a solid mix.

  10. Correction: Looper came out in 2012. I’m surprised by the good reviews it’s getting though I’m still not interested in seeing it. I’ve been burned by too many blockbusters by Tom Cruise. If it’s on TV, I’ll give it a fair watch.

    1. Ted S.

      If not for the free press screening, I would skip seeing it in theater too. But to my surprise, I quite enjoyed it.

    2. Oh right, that was a typo. I knew it was just a couple of years ago, ahah, I wasn’t blogging yet in 2002! 🙂 I hear ya about being burned by Cruise’s movies, but it’s well worth a rent Steven.

    1. Ted S.

      Thanks Chris. The key word here is ENTERTAINING and this movie was a lot of fun. It’s nice to see a big movie that didn’t try to be more than what it was, they can’t all be Nolan’s Batman films. LOL.

  11. Great reviews you two. Glad to read you both had fun with it. I did too. In fact, I think I liked it a bit more than both of you. For me the entertainment value was through the roof. I loved the effects, I loved the story, I loved the two lead performances, and I loved its sense of humor.

    And unlike many, I don’t dislike Tom Cruise at all. I thought he was really good here playing against type (especially in the first half). And Emily…well, you know how I feel about Emily! 🙂

    1. Ted S.

      Thanks Keith.

      Well if you’ve read some of my articles here then you know that I’m also a Tom Cruise fan, he’s still my favorite actor. But I wasn’t that interest in seeing this movie, thankfully it was a lot of fun and the performances by the leads were great.

      1. Oh yes, but the change of opinion from many in the public is puzzling. He is still a very good actor who gives a movie definite ‘movie star’ cred. But I’ve read (and heard on my blog) from many who just hate the guy. Quite a shift for him – a shift that I don’t share.

        1. Hi Keith! I agree that Cruise is the ultimate movie star! He just has that effortless charisma, but I love how he’s playing it dumb in the first part of the movie, I like seeing a different side of him instead of the typical action hero, y’know. I’ll be over to check your review soon. Glad you loved it!

    1. Hello Mark! I have a feeling you’d like this one, the groundhog concept is actually done quite well here, with humor too which I found surprising. It’s one of the best sci-fis in recent memory.

  12. For a movie with such a gimmick, this was executed very well. I had a blast, though I wouldn’t call it one of the year’s best either. Still, 4/5 for me.

  13. I was shocked at how much I liked this film. The more I think about the film the more I think I like it. Love a pleasant surprise at the cinema 😀

    Great review Ted, so so from Ruth ;D

  14. I loved the film.

    The only problem I had with it was the conclusion. I’ll be ambiguous so as not to spoil it. Basically I was disappointed the filmmakers went with the standard Hollywood ending instead of having the courage to follow through on the conditions they had set up earlier. What a shame.

    Other than that though, I really enjoyed it.

  15. Great reviews, both of you. This isn’t a perfect film, but it is very good, even if a touch derivative. And what a surprise that it actually packs an emotional punch!

  16. Pingback: » Movie Review – Edge Of Tomorrow Fernby Films

  17. Pingback: 10 Actresses I would watch in just about anything |

  18. Pingback: Everybody’s Chattin’ + Good/Bad Movie Surprises of 2014 |

  19. Pingback: 2014 Recap: Top 10 Best + 5 Worst Movies of the Year |

  20. Pingback: FlixChatter Review: Mission Impossible Rogue Nation |

Join the conversation by leaving a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s