Vicious aliens, wicked combat and Tom Cruise charm are all good fun, but what’s the point when the story makes no sense?
Cruise is Major William Cage. He’s in the army and has a high rank, but he’s a man of media relations, not combat. When his superior (Brendan Gleeson) decides it’s time for the world to see him in battle, Cage finds himself face-to-face with invading ETs donning an ExoSuit equipped with heavy artillery he doesn’t know how to operate. Sure enough, he’s taken out fast, but then, Cage gets another chance. His death puts him into a time loop, letting him live, die and repeat that same day over and over again, giving him the opportunity to hone his skills and figure out what he has to do to eliminate this alien race.
The world building and early character development in “Edge of Tomorrow” is particularly successful, making the movie strikingly engrossing right from the start. It opens with an eerily exhilarating montage of news clips chronicling the Mimics arrival, the immediate devastation that follows and then the development of the jacket technology that gives humans a shot.
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Proper pacing is a wonderful thing, especially when you’ve got a movie about a hyper intelligent rogue CIA agent wreaking havoc with some potentially devastating information. Move too slowly and you run the risk of bogging moviegoers down with details that could ultimately become too cumbersome to sort out. Then again, move too quickly and you might not leave enough time for an audience to absorb all the necessary details. No, Safe House doesn’t nestle itself near the happy medium, rather veers towards the quicker side, but leaves just enough breathing room to give the story some weight and still solidify it as a thrill ride.
Working for the CIA sounds like a pretty cool gig, right? Well, apparently before you get to the secret agent stuff, you’ve got to babysit a safe house and Matt Weston (Ryan Reynolds) has been stuck with that dull duty one month too many. Meanwhile, the CIA’s most notorious traitor, Tobin Frost (Denzel Washington), puts an end to his decade-long hideout and is sent to Matt’s Cape Town safe house.
Matt’s shocked and honored when one of the most brilliant and illusive men in the world is put under his care, but is caught even more off guard when his facility is ambushed by men after Frost. The two narrowly escape and it’s up to Matt to get Frost to a new secure location. However, Frost may be turned, but he still retains all the ability that made him one of the CIA’s best and his manipulation tactics slowly eat away at Matt’s steadfastness.
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