Saturday, December 13, 2014

Groundhog Troopers

If you don't recognize Edge of Tomorrow (2014) from its extremely generic title, maybe you'll recognize the tagline: Live. Die. Repeat.

If you're still a little vague, let me put it like this: It's Tom Cruise in Starship Troopers meets Groundhog Day. Aliens have attacked Earth and basically occupied Europe. Earth is fighting back with Heinleinesque power armor, and getting ready for a big counter-attack. Cruise is a PR officer with political connections who doesn't intend to get anywhere near the fighting. This offends a gung-ho general who shanghais him, busts him in rank and puts him into a mobile infantry squad scheduled to hit the beach the next day.

So cowardly Tom Cruise puts on power armor he doesn't know how to use, hits the beach with a squad who hates his guts, and meets the enemy, who are these cool tumbleweed-chainsaw-cthuloids. He doesn't last long.

But after he is killed, he wakes up back at the infantry intake. Time has reset and he has to do it all again. But this time, he has a little more of a clue. He gets just as killed, of course. And resets again. Just like in Groundhog Day, he gets a little smarter each time. Eventually, he meets Emily Blunt (Looper, Adjustment Bureau) who lets him know what's going on. She is a lot more of a hardass than him, which is fun.

In conclusion, we've got hard Emily Blunt, comically lame Tom Cruise, and the power armor that should have been in Starship Troopers, plus an oddball time travel gimmick. What's not to like?

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