Tag Archives: time-travel

Movie Review: Edge of Tomorrow: (3 ½ stars) (2014)

The Edge of Tomorrow is the latest sci-fi action film starring Tom Cruise. He plays the role of Officer Cage, a military newsman who gets on the bad side of a certain general, General Brigham (Brendan Gleeson), when he refuses a direct order and then tries to blackmail the general. He quickly finds himself arrested and deposited on the front lines of a war with the rank of private. There he encounters the other star of the film, Rita Vrataski (Emily Blunt). Together they must join forces to defeat a ruthless army of aliens who are slowly, methodically conquering the earth. By the beginning of the film, the aliens have already conquered most of Europe.

 

Completely out of his depth, Officer Cage finds himself in the midst of a horrible military assault on a beach. There, after a brief encounter with an even stranger alien, he dies, only to wake up back in time at the beginning of his bad day. He finds his day repeating. The same events occur as before. He is not sure how to deal with this. He finds that he still has an active will and that he can change things to a limited extent; but the outcome of the battle seems to be inevitable: the annihilation of the human forces. However, he has joined forces with Rita Vrataski, a female soldier who went through a similar experience in a prior battle. Together, perhaps, they will be able to unlock the secrets of Cage’s repeating experiences and devise a means of defeating this nearly invincible enemy.

 

Strengths: if you can accept the basic premise of the movie (time travel), this is a remarkably fun movie: lots of action, explosions, and bizarre aliens. The acting was good; the special effects were excellent, and the storyline held together well. This film effectively avoided the “I’ve seen it before so it’s boring” pitfall that can sometimes infiltrate films where time travel leading to repetitive experiences is involved. Different segments of the same day were repeated, but they were spiced up a bit with different actions and events, and then entirely new experiences were shown based on completely unique choices that Cage made. Weaknesses: I can’t really specify a particular weakness, but the overall film, while good, was not excellent. It’s nothing I can nail down in words, I just don’t think it’s worth a full five stars.

 

I’ll give The Edge of Tomorrow three and a half, or maybe even four, stars out of five.

 

Old Movie Review: Looper (2012)

“Looper” was a kind of interesting idea for a film. Time Travel and all the resultant paradoxes it entails has been done quite a bit by Hollywood. This film takes that well-traveled plotline and throws in a few unique twists of its own. I normally don’t like stories where the protagonist is evil, but this film pulled it off quite well.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt plays the younger version of Joe, a Looper for the mob. Basically, a Looper is someone who kills people who are sent back in time by the mob of the future. The catch is that at some point the mob will want to end the contract and “close the loop” by sending the killer’s future self back to be killed. Bruce Willis plays the older version of Joe; the one sent back to be killed. Of course, the future Joe has plans of his own and won’t go easily. But there’s more to the plot than that (although I think that would have made an interesting film in its own right). The writers weave in a theme involving telekinesis and the genesis of a future mob overlord. It’s well done and kind of interesting the way they do it.

If I have a complaint about the movie, it is that I think they tried to do too much. The telekinesis aspect appeared in the beginning of the film, then disappeared for a while because they were developing the story along lines that it need not be in. Then it came back in the last half of the movie where it was a critical element. I think the storyline involving telekinesis would have made a decent film in its own right. The same can be said for the time traveling mob hit man. Putting the two together, though, made the theme of the movie seem a little crowded. Not too much. Just a little. I still enjoyed the film, but by the end, I was thinking it should have been pared down a bit in a few spots.

Other than that, the special effects were good where they were needed, and the acting was excellent, as well. The logic of time travel, of course, still posed its hideously unanswerable objections to the story when you think it through, so … don’t. It’s a time travel movie; don’t overthink it. Just enjoy it.

Overall, I’ll give this movie four out of five stars.

Old Movie Review: Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time

Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time” is a fantasy, adventure film set during the time of the height of the Persian Empire. It, like several other movies in recent years, is based on a computer game. Nevertheless, it delivers a solid film experience. Jake Gyllenhaal plays the hero, Dastan, Gemma Arterton plays the beautiful heroine, Tamina, and Ben Kingsley plays the villain, Nizam, brother and cupbearer of King Sharaman.

The movie begins in a sort of Aladdin-esque way, with the young Dastan living on the streets causing problems for the guards. But things change quickly, and because of an act of extreme courage, Dastan finds himself taken into the home of King Sharaman who adopts him as a son. Fast forward a decade or so. The heir to the throne, Prince Tus, is misled to attack a holy city and is successful due to the efforts of Prince Dastan. However, things are not what they seem, and soon, Prince Dastan finds himself on the run with the beautiful Princess Tamina, accused of murdering King Sharaman. At first, Dastan is prepared to go to any length to prove his innocence, but soon finds out that much more is on the line than a simple assassination would make it seem. Indeed, the fate of the whole world may be at stake.

Overall, this was an excellent movie… assuming you can accept the whole time-traveling bit. The special effects were superb. The acting was good. And the story was intriguing and easy to follow. All good things. It was made by Disney, so it is family-friendly.

It wasn’t a pinnacle of cinematic glory, but I can’t think of any major flaws in it. I liked it enough that I bought it and I throw it in the old DVD player periodically.

Anyway, I’ll give it a solid four and a half out of five stars.