Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Edge of Tomorrow

The Good: Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt are perfectly cast in Edge of Tomorrow and they do a great job with a tricky and unlikely premise, in which their characters (Cage and Rita) are forced to replay the same scenes over and over again. The premise has been used before in Star Trek episodes and Groundhog Day (among others), but I nevertheless found the story both engaging and entertaining throughout. In other words, the plot may be old, but it was intelligently used here, with a very clever screenplay. I’m a sci-fi fan, which is why I felt I had to see this film, and I’m always relieved when the action doesn’t get in the way of a clever story (you’ll recall I appreciated Cruise’s last sci-fi outing, Oblivion, for the same reason). I especially appreciated the slow moments between Cage and Rita and wish there had been more.

The Bad: There was far more action in Edge of Tomorrow than I could comfortably handle. Because of the film’s unique premise, I never knew where the action was going, so it didn’t bore me the way action often does, but it still felt overwhelming and like a waste of the film’s precious time.

The Ugly: I was forced to watch this in 3D because the 2D was only showing during work hours, but I assume that even in 2D the cinematography would have been ugly, the ugliness I associate with almost all made-for-3D films. 3D was supposed to be a passing fad, but some greedy person in Hollywood didn’t get the memo and so Hollywood keeps trying to force us to watch this stuff. Just a few months ago, I read that one of the popular 3D films in Winnipeg was drawing larger crowds in 2D than 3D. The response of our wonderful customer-friendly theatres: “We’ll offer 2D, but only during the day, so that the bigger film-desperate crowds will be forced to pay extra for 3D.” As one of the unfortunate victims of this policy, I will one day be forced to boycott 3D as a matter of principle and use vacation days to watch films in 2D.

The Outcome: If the action hadn’t been quite so overwhelming, Edge of Tomorrow would have gotten an easy ***+ for its acting and engrossing plot. As it is, the combination of the ugly cinematography (I at least have to punish films for this) and the action lower it to a solid ***. My mug is up.

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