Most movie fans will have experienced the infuriating sensation of a trailer that completely gives the game away. The film business is a risk averse industry, and the preference is that audiences walk in knowing exactly what they’re going to get, so everyone can go home happy.
Every so often, though, the movies throw up a curveball. A faded star can mount an unexpected comeback and return with a film of a quality no one expected. An unlovable genre or a tired old franchise can deliver the goods or turn their fortunes around. A rank outsider can ride a groundswell of support to awards glory and box office magic.
Films that catch us by surprise can go on to leave an indelible impression on audiences, caught unawares and charmed like they never expected to be. They can also lead to scrambling studios trying like mad to recreate the magic in a less than organic manner, which rarely works.
The movies themselves, though, live on. We didn’t expect them to be so good, or to do so well, or to start a movement, and we love them all the more for surprising us.
10. Edge Of Tomorrow
Circa 2014, Tom Cruise’s career wasn’t looking so rosy. While he’d stayed out of the tabloids for a few years, he wasn’t in a prolific period, and seemed to have little more than the Mission: Impossible movies going for him.
Edge of Tomorrow didn’t seem like it would do a lot to change this, appearing from the trailer to be essentially Groundhog Day with aliens and shooting. And it is this, basically, but that proves to be far more enticing a proposition than it sounds. Cruise plays an office-bound military man whose ability to time loop may be the key to winning a war against alien invaders.
He works primarily with Emily Blunt as a seasoned warrior, and the two have superb chemistry that brings Edge of Tomorrow far more heart and gravitas than most films of similar genres. It’s also bolstered by a director, Doug Liman, who knows the value of humour in action movies.
In short, Edge Of Tomorrow is great fun, a film that takes a wacky concept and invests in it fully. Whatever you think of Cruise, he’s willing to throw himself wholeheartedly into wild ideas (professionally and personally).