Edge of Tomorrow ★★★

I appreciate a lot of what this movie is trying to do, and of course it's a lot of fun. I do think there was a missed opportunity, though, for something a bit more unconventional. The second or third time Cruise goes through the loop, he's standing in the drop ship awaiting deployment, and quietly saying the other characters' lines to himself before they say them. It's a great little moment: that the macho BS that tries so hard to feel like real, off-the-cuff, chest-thumping, tough-guy stuff is really a carefully rehearsed performance that these characters are trapped in without even knowing it, and that their fealty to its ethos will lead them to their own destruction over and over again.

It's not an idea the film does anything with, though, and while the video-game-as-plot device* is interesting it's much less interesting than a Cruise blockbuster intent on breaking down tough guy showiness. (The film is somewhat interested on picking at Cruise's star persona, and how carefully it has to be built and maintained, but again, that's not really developed as much as I thought it would be.)

Favorite moment: when Blunt and Cruise are in the barn in the countryside and he gets her a coffee, and too-creepily comments on what sugars she likes, etc. As much as I like Cruse as a performer, part of what makes his persona work is a subtle layer of creepiness beneath it all, that if you really knew this guy he'd be a bit of a nut. (See all his best or most iconic performances: Top Gun, Magnolia, Eyes Wide Shut, etc.) Which is of course somewhat true, and in the last decade has proven to dim his star a bit.

* This is not the "first Video Game blockbuster," as some have claimed. That honor clearly belongs, at least in regards to American blockbusters, to Inception.

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