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Wick's Review

Created Jun 18, 2014 07:46PM PST • Edited Sep 16, 2017 12:55AM PST

  1. Quality
  2. Perfect 5.0

    Terrifically well-conceived SciFi Fantasy is rare. Add an ageless superstar in a role ideal for his particular set of skills, opposite a beautiful screen-queen making her buffed-up action debut, in a 3D production up to the challenge of visualizing time travel and interplanetary war, and you’re in especially rare air territory.1

    Perfect? Close enough. With its antecedents, it should be.

    Throw Super Troopers, Groundhog Day, Iron Man & Saving Private Ryan in a cinematic alchemy machine. Out comes Edge of Tomorrow.

    Hollywood adman is a perfect role for Tom Cruise, the ageless wonder. No moviestar ever essayed the overmatched glamour guy who becomes the steely-eyed stud better than Tom Terrific. You could even say he’s got a particular set of skills for it. Certainly he’s made a career of playing underestimated or written-off characters who go from callow to killer. Instead of the Hero’s Journey, call it the Hero’s Cruise.

    Live • Die • Repeat is on the poster, so when it takes hold after a terrific 20 minute intro, we’re ready. First the repeats slow the movie down, then speed it up. Movie viewing pleasure is rarely so well orchestrated.

    Credit that to Hiroshi Sakurazaka’s acclaimed source novel All You Need Is Kill, a “Japanese military science fiction light novel” per Wikipedia. The novel wouldn’t star Tom Cruise, but the movie needs him.

    Three screenwriters and Bourne director Doug Liman don’t fumble what they got from All You Need Is Kill and then handed off to Tom Cruise & Emily Blunt, so they deserve props for delivering this perfect movie.


    1 For the record, I didn’t end up at a 3D show, choosing instead to see it in 2D at CinéArts Santana Row.

  3. Great 4.0

    Tom Cruise is made for roles like this in big time movies like this: a Hollywood Adman who secures a PR gig for himself in Earth’s existential war with planetary invaders. Callow, self-centered, cowardly: He has more character flaws than Mars has moons. That makes his journey to righteous heroism all the more satisfying. Cruise plays it handily, of course. Doubt he still can? You can’t handle the truth.

    Emily Blunt buffed herself out impressively to play the Full Metal Bitch, Earth’s greatest warrior. I stopped doubting the future Dame Blunt many movies ago. Screen Queen par excellence as The Young Victoria, she’s also no stranger to action, but I don’t think she’s ever been so bitching as she is as the FMB.

    Brendan Gleeson underwhelms as a gruff General.

    Bill Paxton, OTOH, perks up the production whenever his Master Sergeant appears. Or would that be reappears? Paxton’s recent roll of laconic scenery-chewers in big time SciFi productions is getting prodigious. First Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and now this.

  4. Male Stars Perfect 5.0
  5. Female Stars Really Great 4.5
  6. Female Costars OK 2.5
  7. Male Costars Very Good 3.5
  8. Perfect 5.0

    Eternal life would be unbearable in a film as in life. Fortunately the story flips off the time repetition switch at just the right moment. Indeed, the Repeating Days conceit is as well executed as it is conceived.

    Doug Liman directed from a screenplay by Christopher McQuarrie, Jez & John-Henry Butterworth, working from Hiroshi Sakurazaka’s “Japanese military science fiction light novel” All You Need Is Kill.

    They use different tactics than Groundhog Day did. Neither are they looking for laughs (mostly) or deeper spiritual meaning as that masterpiece did. Yet their cinematic Day Repetition shtick works just as well.

  9. Direction Perfect 5.0
  10. Play Perfect 5.0
  11. Music Great 4.0
  12. Visuals Perfect 5.0

    Perfect touch having Emily Blunt use a Jaguar XF to make her careening getaway in post-apocalyptic London. I’ve never pushed my XF that hard, but then I’ve never had genocidal aliens on my tail either.

  13. Content
  14. Sordid 2.7
  15. Sex Titillating 1.8
  16. Violence Savage 3.7
  17. Rudeness Salty 2.5
  18. Supernatural 4.0

    Relatively restrained R4. Why? Cruise and Blunt affect being human, albeit movie character human.

  19. Circumstantial Surreal 3.0
  20. Biological Supernatural 4.0
  21. Physical Fantasy 5.0

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Jun 8, 2014 4:42PM
Wick

Regarding BrianSez’s Review
“One does not get sick of seeing Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt over and over again… mostly because of Emily.” Truth