|TOM CRUISE in GROUNDHOG DAY w/aliens at, I kid you not, Verdun.|
|The Post-Preggers Emily Blunt,|
having shed her porcine cellulite
is blessedly & newly lithe under
the cover of Heavy Metal.
Dir. Doug Liman
Starring: Tom Cruise, Emily Blunt, Bill Paxton, Brendan Gleeson
Review By Greg Klymkiw
There's very little to say about Edge of Tomorrow. The picture is pretty much a remake of Groundhog Day and Starship Troopers without the belly laughs of the former and sans the glorious satirical jabs of the latter. With a few Jackson Pollock dribblings of Pacific Rim here and a healthy dollop (or three) of Saving Private Ryan-like D-Day carnage there, our movie wears a myriad of derivative elements ever-so proudly on its sleeve. Splashed indelicately with the propagandistic spirit of Leni Riefenstahl, one of its saving graces is the absence of faceless hordes of Allah-worshipping villains. They're substituted with gooey liquorice-coloured gummy aliens (no doubt as representative of Islam as big bugs might have represented commies in the Hollywood output of the Cold War) and in spite of an international military effort, it takes an American, 'natch, to win the war - and I'm not kidding here, on the historical site of the already blood-soaked WWI fields of the battle of Verdun.
The cherries jubilee over this huge bowl of a Baskin-Robbins hit parade all mushed together is experiencing the whole mess with Tom Cruise in his buff 50+ glory and the newly-lithe post-preggers-Miss-Piggy Emily Blunt joining forces agin the alien invaders in order to save mankind. (Sorry for the spoiler. I'm sure you'd have had absolutely no idea that the winning couple would save the Earth.)
Cruise plays the armed forces public face of propaganda, but as such, the handsome major with the winning Tom Cruise smile has never seen action beyond basic training. When the armies of the world unite, the new General is none other than a very grumpy Brendan Gleeson who orders Cruise to the front lines. The master of P.R. spin won't have any of it, though, and threatens the dour, pudgy Irish commander with a shit storm of bad publicity. The inscrutable Gleeson lets Cruise think he can coast through the rest of the war, then unexpectedly orders our boy under arrest. Stripped of his officer's rank. Cruise is tossed in with the regular grunts and placed under the strict command of the gung-ho buzz-cut pate of Bill Paxton.
Within no time, Cruise is dumped upon a raging battlefield wherein he's summarily attacked and killed by one of the alien gummy spiders, but not before blasting the crap out of his creepy killer. This ties Cruise telepathically and inextricably to the insect army as he's now infected with the blood of the marauders which allows them, and now him, to predict various outcomes. Cruise, you see, doesn't really die. Instead, being killed allows our hero to spin back in time to repeat the events of the day until he tediously, incrementally makes progress - including his becoming an über-soldier with the assistance of master bug killer Blunt.
As there's never any doubt as to the outcome, all that remains is for us to sit back and watch how Cruise gets it right through innumerable stabs at the proceedings. This is mildly engaging for about 30 minutes of screen time.
The soldiers battling the aliens are equipped with Robocop-style exo-skeletons of steel armour and a variety of weapons. The suits are as boringly designed as the aliens, but insult is added to the injury of the soldiers' armour as the design of the battle gear elicits occasional unintentional laughs. Doug Liman's direction is, thankfully, more solid than the usual boneheads assigned to craft these noisy cinematic roller coaster rides. Alas, the movie overstays its welcome and we're barraged with yet another empty-headed state-of-the-art brain-cel sucker.
There is one nice bit of recurring humour in the picture. When things get a bit too hairy and a new kickstart is needed, Emily Blunt, maintaining a Buster-Keaton-ish countenance, simply raises her handgun, points it at Cruise's head and blasts it off.
This is almost as satisfying as the film's final image of Cruise après victory as he flashes that multi-billion-dollar smile at Blunt. Now that the fighting is over, the boinking can begin.
Edge of Tomorrow is in mega-wide-release all over the world via Warner Bros. It's available in 3-D and 3-D IMAX choices, but I saw it in good, old-fashioned 2-D and doubt the added cost of those horrendously flawed options will make much of a difference.