Film Micrœview #145: Edge of Tomorrow (2014)

09.28.2014 § Leave a comment

Edge of Tomorrow

Rating: Good.

SFX crew: original (well maybe Sentinels crossed with Xenomorphs), nerve-tensing baddies + practical effects. Got the DP from recent Michael Mann stuff, too, to pair it with.

Acting. Genius move introducing Cruise as a cowardly dickwad. His character earns his happy ending. +1 for the Paxton play, part of much sprawling meta-ness (release date was 70th anniversary of D-Day, even?) that speaks toward the film’s function in Cruise’s career (tangent: why did we have to bring Da Vinci Code into this?)

Writing and directing crew: Expertly crafted. Plot holes are on the fringes, forgivable — you almost can’t have a premise this bold without either explaining to detriment or just setting some stuff aside — this balances impressively well (e.g. not addressing what we would expect to be a hesitant mindset of Blunt’s character whenever she raises her gun to “reset” Cruise and the entire world, ostensibly instantly ending her existence, just without the continuity+accrual of experience as he gets). Occasional moments of “I see what this is here for” or “oh of course this had to happen right now” etc. but hey, the ride was fun, I went along. For every necessary sub-cliche I feel like there was one unprecedented moment of grit, such as Cruise not sparing the effort in one iteration to save a fellow he’s learned how to save — brutal and thought-provoking. The conclusion is inexplicable but how could you not, really — it works (although honestly I could have maybe gone for a step further bad ending since the idea was the aliens have always been one step ahead, why not still now). And I have to say I was made to feel the weight of huge amount of time lived by the characters — this is if nothing else one of the most incredible forums for ellipsis ever devised, and it uses it to full Hollywood-tight advantage. (one of the writers wrote Usual Suspects) Only issue is the love story which was tacked on and undermined what I liked about Blunt’s character as a feminist (that and the stupidly overused yoga shot).

Duncan Jones’s Source Code has nothing on this. I might have given it a Dr. Pepper if it climbed more into the psychological states. I feel like some of the implications of this power were left on the table, I mean, in terms of their effect on the soul, not on this story.

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