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'Edge of Tomorrow' is better than the previews

July 08, 2014 | 02:11 PM
Editor’s note: William Lorenz is a 16-year-old junior at Badger High School and an aspiring film critic. Here’s what he said in his introduction to us: “I would like to be considered for a summer internship as Lake Geneva’s first high school movie critic. I’ve always been passionate about film and have been writing unpublished reviews for the past two years. “My dream is that you would consider me for this position for your popular newspaper that my family reads weekly.” We could hardly say ‘no.’

The science fiction genre has always been a fascination of mine. Classics such as the original “Star Wars” trilogy and “Alien” are among my all time favorite movies.

As of late, however, this genre seems to have devolved into an unoriginal and bland style of filmmaking. Sci-fi movies are becoming special effects driven as opposed to character driven.

The trailers and other forms of marketing for “Edge of Tomorrow” made it look like an overly serious version of “Groundhog Day” that takes place in the future.

It didn’t come as a surprise to anybody that “Edge of Tomorrow” made very little money at the box office in its opening weekend.

What did come as a surprise was the fact that it received universally positive praise.

However, word of mouth wasn’t enough to save this film from awful marketing.

As of right now, “Edge of Tomorrow” has made just over $90 million at the box office. This number is just over half its $178 million budget.

It’s sad to witness this film’s box office failure seeing as though “Edge of Tomorrow” is a glimmer of hope in the science fiction genre.

The film follows Major Bill Cage (Tom Cruise), an officer who has never seen a day of combat when he is demoted without warning and dropped into battle.

Cage is killed within minutes, managing to take an elite species of the alien enemy down with him. He awakens back at the beginning of the same day and is forced to fight and die over and over again.

He’s been thrown into a time loop. Within this loop he meets Rita (Emily Blunt), a well-known soldier that might just be able to help him save the world.

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“Edge of Tomorrow” surfaces an important element that many action movies are lacking these days, and that’s the element of fun. The film doesn’t take itself too seriously as the trailers suggest, but instead infuses terrific comedy into its plot.

The greatest compliment that I can give this film is that it made me feel so many emotions such as excitement, fear, happiness and sadness.

The concept of death is important in the movie. For a majority of the film, Cage’s deaths are played up for laughs as he tries to maneuver the obstacle course that is the battlefield.

Each step that he takes is meticulously chosen based on his previous experience at the battleground. One misstep could result in his death, which consequently would bring him back to the beginning.

Cage is essentially playing a real life video game. Cage, Rita, and the audience don’t worry about death for most of this movie, as a matter of fact we laugh at it. The film brilliantly desensitizes its audience to death in a way that later makes them fear it more than anything else.

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Director Doug Liman does a great job shifting between dramatic and comedic tones within the film. He does this through great pacing, giving enough time for the audience to connect with its protagonist while also showcasing some incredible action sequences.

Cruise’s performance is his best in years. The interplay between Cruise and Blunt is fantastic and their characters’ relationship is extremely well realized. The screenplay is surprisingly smart. As I said before, it contains great comedy, well-developed characters, and an interesting plot. All technical aspects of the filmmaking are truly great here.

As for my issues with “Edge of Tomorrow,” I feel as though some of the plot devices that explain why Cage is in the time loop are forced. For example, the way in which the time loop begins seems ridiculous.

The only other major problem I have has to do with the ending. It doesn’t make much sense. I’m all about an ambiguous ending that’s open to interpretation, but this doesn’t let the audience interpret anything. It shows you exactly what happens.

Unfortunately, what happens is completely nonsensical. Once again, this didn’t completely take me out of the experience, but it sure left me scratching my head.

Overall, “Edge of Tomorrow” is a great science fiction film. It’s a shame that so few people have seen it. I implore those that were turned off of this film by the trailers to seek it out. This is a smart summer blockbuster with incredible action, terrific performances, and an undeniable sense of fun.

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