Sunday, June 8, 2014

Edge of Tomorrow

Film: Edge of Tomorrow

Starring: Tom Cruise (Oblivion) and Emily Blunt (Looper)

Director: Doug Liman (The Bourne Identity)

U.S. Release: June 6th, 2014 (Rated PG-13)

Genre: Action

Runtime: 113 minutes

Make no mistake about it, the hype surrounding Edge of Tomorrow, from both critics and moviegoers alike, continues to grow throughout the film's opening weekend. With an estimated $30 million in box-office revenue in the works and nearly 9 out of 10 critics voicing their approval, Tom Cruise proves he is still a major attraction. But is the megastar's latest blockbuster collaboration with The Bourne Identity director, Doug Liman, worthy of all this adoration? Absolutely not!

Tom Cruise stars as Cage, a marketer-turned-Army Recruiter after an unexplained alien invasion threatens the survival of humankind. However, Cage has zero interest in actually setting foot on the battlefield. That is, until his commanding officer orders the under-qualified and cowardly soldier to attack the enemy with the first wave of fighters. Caught in the midst of war, Cage becomes trapped in a time-loop and uses the opportunity to team up with a Special Forces warrior named Rita (Emily Blunt) who transforms him into a killing machine determined to destroy the opposing forces.

Allow me to precede my arguments with a declaration that the latest sci-fi blockbuster, Edge of Tommorow, is a well-crafted and highly rationalized idea. Yet, Doug Liman's action adventure is over-pursued and misguided. The whole "time travel" or "time loop" idea is by no means uncharted territory. Somewhat recent comparables such as Duncan Jones' Source Code or Rian Johnson's Looper use this scientific anomaly as a far more impressive backdrop to their better executed stories. With Edge of Tomorrow, the audience is asked to buy into an often-used, but convincing, character arc surrounding Tom Cruise's onscreen personae, Cage. But to the film's detriment, an unjust finale sells that transformation short and tears down the flimsy foundation it spends nearly two hours building.

Although Doug Liman's Edge of Tomorrow contains a mediocre plot and a collection of performances that neither benefit nor detract from the final product, the blockbuster delivers an abundance of remarkably-shot scenes. The camera work and editing are superb enough to satisfy any action junkie imaginable, further demonstrating a need to applaud Liman's effort for the movie's sound technical achievements. However, at the end of the day, there's no escaping a long list of basic fundamental blunders that ultimately confine Edge of Tomorrow to being a run-of-the-mill feature.

Sporting a balanced sheet of pros and cons, the latest sci-fi tale, Edge of Tomorrow, fails to stand out among a long list of similarly-molded films. Its "groundhog day" approach feels long-winded through a moderately engaging story. And although the special effects and captured shots are likely to be marveled at, there isn't much else elevating Edge of Tomorrow to mainstream blockbuster glory.

Stars: 2 stars out of 4

Grade: C+

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