This has been a good week for ‘free stuff’. I was able to attend two free, sneak-preview showings of films being released this weekend. Unfortunately it adds to the backlog of incomplete blog posts in my ‘drafts’ folder. It is feast or famine with those muses.
Edge of Tomorrow, the new Tom Cruise movie is better than I expected; at least it aspires to be. My fondness for Mr. Cruise has waned as he transitioned from actor to movie star to action hero. I can’t remember the last time I paid to see him in a theater. I think I’ve even gave his last few ventures of scowling in front of a green screen a miss when they reached television…and I will watch almost anything while cleaning the house. Edge of Tomorrow has things to recommend it.
I try to avoid spoilers but I think the trailer is clear enough that I am safe in disclosing the plot involves time travel. If you want to know what to expect, imagine a really dark take on Ground Hog’s Day; except the day in question is D-Day, and aliens are holding the Normandy beach instead of Germans.
Cruise’s character’s life is like a video game. He starts and plays until he can go no farther. Then he starts again and tries to get to the next level by learning from his previous mistakes. He gets a little farther each time before he has to start again…and again…and again…..
Like many time travel plots, the premise does not bear too close an examination. It is better to just suspend disbelief and take the ride. The plot is rife with clichés from other films. Think Dr. Zhivago. Think Patton. Think The Dirty Dozen. Think Robocop. Then add aliens. That the film is derivative bothers me less than its failure to do much with the clichés once established. There is almost too much good, albeit familiar, stuff here and the film does not balance it very well.
There are good things too however. Emily Blunt, looking amazingly buff, plays an interesting character though it is definitely a supporting role. The relationship between the two principal characters has some depth. It would have been interesting to see more of it between the alien attacks.
I saw the film in 3D. The battle scenes are pretty standard 3D fare but I found the 3D added a kind of intimacy to the scenes without explosions that I don’t usually see in CGI extravaganzas.
I’ll be interested to see how this one does at the box office. It aspires to more than many of the CGI-testosterone fests targeting adolescents males in the summer season. Whether that will attract a broader audience or just bore the 16 year-olds remains to be seen.
I’m glad I saw it Edge of Tomorrow. But I am glad I saw it for free.