With the summer movie season in full swing, things are getting busy on At the Movies. This week Peter Travers highlights two completely different movies that may have been divided on gender-lines in Hollywood, but are actually worth everyone’s time: The sci-fi flick Edge of Tomorrow and the young adult romance The Fault in Our Stars.
First up, “the guy movie”: Edge of Tomorrow is based on the novel, All You Need is Kill, and stars Tom Cruise as Cage, an Army major who is tasked with combating an alien invasion (“They never stop doing that, especially in the summer,” Travers quips) but is demoted to private after sassing a general. Forced onto the front lines, Cage finds himself scared to death and way out of his league, but as Travers raves, “It was so great to see Tom Cruise lose his shit in a movie. It was impossibly great to see him panic and not know what to do.”
While Cage is quickly killed, he is actually brought back to life and must learn how to fight the aliens over and over again with the help of Emily Blunt’s Rita, whom Travers calls “a warrior goddess.” Edge of Tomorrow plays like a sci-fi action version of Bill Murray’s classic Groundhog Day, and while Travers says the ending might be a bit corny, the film is still a winner.
Over on the other end of the spectrum, Travers figured The Fault in Our Stars was bound to be “chick-flick hell,” but he found himself thoroughly impressed with the adaptation of John Green’s young adult bestseller. The film tells the story of Hazel and Gus, played by Shailene Woodley and Ansel Egort, two teenage cancer patients who meet at a cancer group and fall in love. It’s a sad story, but as Travers puts it, “they tell it with not just laughs, but a wonderful, sarcastic kind of humor.”
Travers has high praise for both stars, but singles out Woodley, saying the actress “can almost make me believe in anything. Look at me, I’m pro the-chick-flick hell movie!” The film is funny, surprising and, as Travers is sure to note, you won’t get tear-jerked too bad until the very end.
“If you’re going to go see one of these movies, don’t be afraid [of the other] because there’s something in this for everybody,” Travers says. “You’ve got two good choices — I can’t believe it!”