Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Movie review: Edge of Tomorrow

A popular theme in science fiction is the day that repeats until some goal is accomplished. The most well known example is "Groundhog Day" where Bill Murray has to keep reliving Groundhog Day until he can get Andie MacDowell to fall in love with him. Fans of Stargate: SG1 will remember the brilliant season 4 episode "Window of Opportunity". Taye Diggs had a series called Day Break where he had to solve who was setting him up for a major crime. It's also been seen in Star Trek: TNG, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Eureka, Farscape, Fringe, Haven, Lois and Clark... oh, fuck it. Here, look it up yourself [link].

Edge of Tomorrow is a military sci-fi take on this idea. I'd compare it most to the Stargate episode. Not because of the military sci-fi aspect, but because it's funny. Both the movie and the Stargate episode make me laugh out loud.

There's a high speed montage at the beginning that gets the audience up to speed. Short version: Aliens came; Europe is lost. There's a big counter attack planned and they want Tom Cruise and a camera crew on the front lines to built something that will safe the asses of the commanders if the public turns on them later. Tom refuses to go and wakes up on a bag of luggage with his rank stripped away and deploying as a grunt instead of as a PR planner. As they reach shore they're attacked. The aliens knew they were coming. He's dropped in with no training on how to work the equipment, no combat experience, and a life of expectancy of less that it's taken you to read this far. But something happens in combat that resets his day, but only if he dies. He eventually finds someone who knows what's going on, can train him, and goes on to save the world. Along the way there's a series of humorous montages of him dying in funny and/or painful ways.

I think I will get this one on DVD. It's an old plot device, but well done and funny.

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