I have to admit, I’m pretty impressed with Tom Cruise’s performance in two blockbuster action/sci-fi films recently: Oblivion and Edge of Tomorrow. I’ve been a fan of the former for a while now, and my father got me to sit down and watch Edge with him tonight. (I was interested, it just takes an act of Congress for me to actually relax and enjoy a movie.) This article is going to have some spoilers; consider yourself warned.
Edge of Tomorrow is described as “Groundhog Day meets Starship Troopers“, and frankly that is an incredibly apt description. Cruise plays a washed-up former officer by the name of William Cage who is sent to the front lines of a losing battle against an invading alien force. During a battle with one of these creatures, he manages to get the ability to “reset the day”, which turns out to have been the key to the aliens’ unstoppable force. Problem is, resetting the day only happens when he dies. And oh boy does he. Again and again and again. The film does a great job of using just the right amount of repeating scenes, with a mix of hilarious and/or absolutely bad-ass montages. You can guess where the plot is going, but I’m not going to ruin it for you personally and the ride is worth it.
Oblivion, on the other hand, is much more in line with that “clean” aesthetic that some sci-fi movies in recent years have had. Tom Cruise is Jack Harper, a future repair man who watches over fusion generators powering humanity’s trip to Titan in the wake of an attack by aliens known as Savs. He’s teamed up with a partner, Victoria Olsen, who keeps tabs on the generators remotely, and they both report to the “Tet”, a space station that’s shaped like a tetrahedron and serves as Mission Control. Their liaison is a woman named Sally.
That is in no way whatsoever what the film is about, and it is fantastic.
I do need to get around to watching District 9, which I’ve only ever caught bits of, and I desperately want to see the film CHAPPiE, currently making the rounds in theaters. Though I hear it is not getting stellar reviews, I’ve a much better idea of what interests me than reviewers do. I like independent films, and art films, but sometimes I think films like The Grand Budapest Hotel have sticks way too far up their own asses. That movie was abysmal, but “film people” have a hard-on for Wes Anderson. What do I know?
So yeah, I like some sci-fi action films. I liked Man of Steel, though to hear people talk I should be dragged in front of a firing squad for doing so. Whatever. I’ll take a blockbuster over something like Donnie Darko any day. It doesn’t bother me in the least, either, that people like those movies; what does bug me is when they try to imply I don’t “get it”. No, I got Donnie Darko just fine–I just thought it was crap and have had way too many people demanding I give it another go.
Enough ranting. I’ll see you tomorrow for another 500 words!