Edgy Adventure – A review of Edge of Tomorrow
Title: Edge of Tomorrow
Production Company: Warner Brothers
Run Time: 113 minutes
Director: Doug Liman
Stars: Tom Cruise, Emily Blunt, Bill Paxton, Brendan Gleeson
Summary: After aliens invade Earth, an Army major finds himself reliving the same events over and over – Starship Troopers meets Groundhog Day in this entertaining alien invasion action flick.
The startling awakening of Tom Cruise’s character each time the story “resets” adds a welcome element of humor and mirth to this dark tale of alien invasion set m the not-too-distant future.
It starkly resonates the movie’s tagline of “Live, Die, Repeat” and one must wonder what kind of a toll this ongoing event must be taking on Major Cage (Cruise) and his psyche.
After all, he must die in order to be reborn.
Cage is a publicity animal, selling the successful implementation of new technological weaponry in the battle against the mimics, an alien race that has obliterated most of the European continent.
A British general, Brigham (Brendan Gleeson) decides that he has a better use for the journalist – sending him to the front lines to document an insurgency designed to gain a foothold for human forces on European soil.
Cage declines, is labeled a deserted, is arrested and thrust into a combat uniform just in time to invade and is killed five minutes into the battle.
What is unexpected, though, is that during the battle, Cage accidentally kills an Alpha, a highly evolved mimic whose blood allows Cage to usurp the power of the Omega alien. Every time Cage dies, his day will reset and he has total memory of the events that killed him in the first place.
It’s a lot like hitting the reset button on the video game after your character dies. Live. Fight. Die. Repeat.
Ironically, though, the story isn’t boring. Each time the reset button is pressed, we’re thrown back into the action at the point where we left off. After all, watching the same scenes over and over would lose appeal after a very short period of time.
Eventually, Cage meets up with Rita (Emily Blunt), a warrior who once had the same ability that Cage has. Unfortunately after a blood transfusion, she lost the power.
She works with Cage to find the Omega. If they can figure out a way to destroy it, the world will be free of Mimics in very short order.
This is a taut tale that will keep viewers involved right up until the final scenes. It’s a little predictable, though.
Overall the effects are excellent, but I found the 3-D version a little distracting. The fast movements, primary colors and intense imagery created information overload. I saw the movie a second time in 2-D and found the story easier to digest.
Cruise is his ever reliable self, creating just enough mirth in his performance to continue to make him likable in his big screen persona.
Blunt is just attractive enough and built well enough that we can buy her as an action heroine fighting it out with mimics and verbally sparring with Cruise. She’s even a tad sardonic which also plays well in her favor.
Bill Paxton, always reliable as a grunt in this type of tale, adds a touch of needed comic relief to the story as a Master Sergeant who supervisors the recently demoted Cage in his reclassification and reassignment to the battle group.
He takes no guff from Cruise, but gives plenty of it back to the company of misfits that he leads into battle.
One thing that irritated me, though, is the frustrating amount of information that Cage delves from each “reset”. It’s like playing a memory game where each round after you play the sequence back, a new element is added to the sequence for the next repeat.
You’d have to have a really GREAT memory to remember all the changes in this sequence of events. And I’ve yet to meet someone with that great of a memory.
Edge of Tomorrow isn’t a great science fiction flick, but it isn’t a completely bad one either. It makes up for its predictability with a fun blend of humor and action. It’s ideal for a summer afternoon, but it’s not as good as many of the action movies that preceded it this summer.
It’s not even one of Cruise’s best films either. On a scale of one to five, I give Edge of Tomorrow 3-1/2 stars.