Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Edge of Tomorrow

Probably the biggest problem with this movie is that it's out of theaters by the time I write this. The second biggest problem is that it's not actually perfect.

If you pay any kind of attention to movie reviews or criticism, you've probably already heard a bit about Edge of Tomorrow. It is a pretty great movie. Not perfect by any means, but awfully, awfully good. (I got into a conversation about it with a friend of mine, and when pressed, I had a really hard time articulating what made it so good, and had to concede that it's actually something of B+/A- type of movie.)

I do want to throw my opinion onto the pile though. The aliens look cool, the fight scenes are awesome, the ending sucks, the love story is superfluous, the supporting cast is pointless, and the final scene is drained of all tension.

The biggest appeal to the movie itself is the arc that the main character takes. You see him grow and change throughout the movie in a very strong, and most importantly, believable way. He doesn't start off like "Action Man", but instead a very easily relateable coward. He wants to avoid being on the frontlines of the war, because, well, doesn't everyone? He doesn't act like a total asshole in the beginning, actually, just someone afraid to fight a war against unstoppable killing machines who also control time. Even without the sci-fi elements of this movie, that scene where he's in the transport vessel is terrifying every time you see it. It's understandable that he wanted to avoid it, and you emphasize with him for being scared. That makes his growth so much more powerful.

But, if you've heard anything about this movie, you've probably already heard that. One thing that amazes me and then immediately saddens me is that the love this movie is getting from critics is a giant "Fuck you" to Hollywood. The fact that so many people love to praise this movie, and are urging people to go see it and give it money is not a testament to how amazing the movie is (like I said, pretty great, but not perfect) but how shitty everything else is right now.

I get sad though, because I know that Hollywood won't absorb this lesson. They will not say, "Oh, we had a movie with an original story and a strong character arc, that must be what audiences like," but instead will promptly go, "BIG NAME STARS WACKY ALIENS EXPLOSIONS". Well, I'm happy Edge of Tomorrow exists anyway. Please go see it.

1) Well made? - For sure. The action scenes are well-filmed and appropriately chaotic for a war movie.
2) Contributed?  - Sadly, no. This took an idea from another movie and put a sci-fi/action spin on it, which is good, but did it have to be made? Not really.
3) Good time? - I actually saw this one in 4D, so it was impossible to be bored or even motionless. Still, I can say that even in old-timey 2D, this was a great time.
4) Watch again? - I would have seen it three times in the theater if I could have.
5) Worth it?  - Yes! God, I wish it was still in theaters so I could urge you to go see it.
6) Who should watch this? - On one end of the audience spectrum, there lies the person that really only enjoys artsy-fartsy movies. That person might not enjoy Edge of Tomorrow as much as most people.

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