Polished Edge: A great sci-fi movie with an ‘edge’
Recently released, “Edge of Tomorrow” is an impressive flick in the science-fiction/alien-invasion genre. It has only one serious flaw, which I’ll describe later.
The story leaps into the near future, displaying the next generation of air-assault infantry geared up with exo-skeletal power suits. Humans are at war against a vast number of vicious creatures that landed in Europe in meteors and quickly seized much of the continent. The troops are delivered into a much-anticipated invasion of coastal France (the movie’s release around the 70th anniversary of the real D-Day couldn’t have been coincidental) from Britain by huge tilt-rotor aircraft inspired by the U.S. CV-22 Osprey. This invasion, however, goes very badly -- and in that regard, reminded me of Heinlein’s classic sci-fi novel “Starship Troopers” more than the cheesy ’90s movie (built around a gratuitous co-ed, shower-room sequence) of that name did.
Actor Tom Cruise begins “Edge of Tomorrow” as a fast-talking weasel in uniform and ends it as the globe-saving hero. Along the way, he frequently begs co-star Emily Blunt, a lean and mean, high-tech Joan of Arc figure (her signature weapon is a metal blade converted from an aircraft rotor), not to kill him when he messes up. But, she pulls out her handgun when necessary and does it anyway -- because alien-introduced time travel makes it okay.
Interestingly, this weekend saw online comments at one major American news website firmly divided between those who saw the movie -- and liked it -- and those who refused to spend money on a movie whose male lead is a poster child for a controversial cult. Yes, I’m prejudiced, too: Cruise’s membership in Scientology is double-plus ungood. However, I put that aside for the non-stop escapist fare of “Edge.” Like it or not, there is no actor today who does these sci-fi action roles better than Cruise.
The movie’s “one serious flaw” that I mentioned above?
Just this: that liberal Hollywood cannot resist politicizing movies; in this case, by slipping Hillary Clinton into a faux news clip of world leaders meeting to discuss the war. Get it: Hillary is U.S. president during the alien invasion? (Don’t blink; her brief movie appearance almost is subliminal. Hmm...) In my view, Grandma Benghazi is a greater threat to America than is Scientology.
The aliens are scary and the violence is frequent and loud -- “Edge of Tomorrow” is not for little kids.
Martin Kufus, a former Russian-speaking paratrooper in the Army, was the WCN news editor and senior reporter from 1997 to 2002. He also was the assistant editor of Soldier of Fortune magazine in Boulder, Colo., 1995-97.
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