Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Cruise To The Edge Of Greatness

An alien invasion is no match for the dynamic duo of Emily Blunt and Tom Cruise in Edge of Tomorrow


ARTH VADER (AV): Derived from the wildly popular Manga graphic novel “All you need is kill” heralding from Japan, Edge of Tomorrow shares a gritty and intriguing story of a soldier rushed to the front-line of an intergalactic war between humanity and a horrifying alien invader who seem to know every move even before we make it. I firmly believe “All You Need is Kill” is likely a poor translation of the Japanese mother IP (Intellectual Property), the story is compelling, pitting the Major William Cage (Cruise) against a ticking clock that resets every time he is killed. Pontificator, this movie has infinite storytelling potential and I am not sure this one wasn’t one of my favorites of the year. What did you think? 

THE PONTIFICATOR (TP): Based on the novel “All You Need is Kill” by Hiroshi Sakurazaka, this film is a loose adaption of the book, keeping the general premise, but changing many details. Although there are changes, the film is still very entertaining even though very different from the novel Vader.


AV: Cruise and Blunt are phenomenal to be sure, but one of my favorite characters in this film is Maj. Sergeant Farell played by Bill Paxton. Playing one of the most predictably atypical archetypes of the over-the-top American drill Sgt. who will bust heads, bust balls and bust a move on any enlisted man who steps out of line. Directed by Doug “Bourne Identity” Liman, this movie has a distinctive look and photographic essence that is unique to this film. Liman’s choice not to start each new ‘day’’ systematically makes for a surprisingly fresh visual approach that kept me guessing if this day is new for us or new for the character. And need I say, Brandon “Braveheart” Gleeson plays the stalwart General Brigham and is a totally solid character that adds nothing but depth and character color.

TP: Tom Cruise is still a box office draw and is able to deliver in the capacity of “action hero” with his own brand of wit and those coveted “Cruise” moments. Emily Blunt is great at playing a hardcore role and really sells her character, even better than Cruise. It was also fun to see Bill Paxton, adding to his trend of recent exposure. The film moved at a quick pace, never staying too long in one place and stayed interesting even as it revisited the same situations.


AV: Edge of Tomorrow is a visual spectacular, worthy of 3D and certainly worth a look. If you like big-budget films, lots of action and some grounded and clever writing, then this film has them all. The onscreen presence of the mimics (the aliens) is terrifying and awe-inspiring. The combat suits are classically cool and action sequences where the human counterattack is the main plot point, are visually spectacular and add to the nail-biting intensity. What’s more, the visual effects are a tool to the storytelling and not the primary focal point. Thoughts, Ponty? 

TP: A science-fiction film with great actors and an excellent story that doesn’t deliver equally great special effects is a travesty to sci-fi fans everywhere Vader. Fortunately this movie wasn’t one of those films. The special effects were solid and delivered interesting aliens peppered between all the mayhem and explosions. There were a lot of opportunities to go wrong here, but everything stayed on track, right down to the costuming and robotic harnesses.


AV: Here’s what I loved, Pontificator. I loved watching an American big budget movie go way out on a limb to tell a very unexpected and quite frankly, very non-american story. I loved watching the untold depths of rich content in the international graphic novel arena deliver surprisingly good content to American audiences. I also loved that this movie does NOT show a traditional Hollywood ‘Happy Ending’ unless you chose to interpret it that way. What I hated was; poor marketing, a misunderstood film premise and a bad choice of movie title. Honestly, this movie could be anything; Star Wars: Episode VIII Edge of Tomorrow. Star Trek III: Edge of Tomorrow, Ian Fleming’s James Bond in Edge of Tomorrow. See? The title isn’t a title, it’s nondescript. I am convinced audiences didn’t know what the heck an “Edge of Tomorrow” was. 

TP: Right off the bat I was reminded that I’d seen all this before, although not quite in the same way. I’m talking about “Groundhog Day” and “Source Code.” The idea of living a day over and over again isn’t a new one so I was intrigued on how they were going to make this an interesting film. It was an easy recipe though, throw in some aliens bent on destroying humanity, Tom Cruise, and a lot of death and explosions… and voila!  The various paths the story takes from reliving one day are certainly more diverse than of the films I mentioned previously, which say a lot since the goal of the film never changed. Also the number of times the day was repeated was brilliantly handled as it was so many more times than any of the other films, without ever having us on the hook of actually having to go through the entire experience in detail. In short—this film was brilliantly handled.


AV: There is no sequel to this story. Though a caveat to this could be to continue to port over original graphic novels and foreign fiction from around the world. Though given the mediocre reception this film received, that may be a tall order. 

TP: I have heard that the novel will be getting a sequel, but seeing that it is so different than the film, part two might not make it to the big screen… especially when they wrapped the ending up so neatly.


ARTH VADER rates Edge Of Tomorrow: Going out on a limb here but intelligent action movies tend NOT to fair well in American cinema. This is one such case. If you like your sci-fi with action, comic relief, a strong female and male lead, tons of effects and ‘splosions, then you need look no further than Edge of Tomorrow. That’s why I am giving this movie seven (7) solid busted blocks. And when I wake up tomorrow, I plan to give it the same, all over again.

THE PONTIFICATOR rates Edge of Tomorrow: Although skeptical at first, I was quickly converted to the side of “fan.” This film takes an old and already done idea (reliving a day) and breathes new life into it with its unique approach and brilliant formula for success. This film easily and repeatedly destroys eight (8) busted blocks. 

Edge Of Tomorrow: 7.5 / 10 Busted Blocks

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