The Edge of Tomorrow is directed by Doug Liman (Fair Game, Jumper, Mr. and Mrs. Smith, The Bourne Identity), who made his name making action movies and his credentials show in his second attempt at science fiction (Jumper being his first).
In this entertaining example of military SF, the viewer is treated to what is basically a staple SF idea, revamped and updated, and spiced up with a smattering of wicked slapsticks, and enough food for thought to keep you engaged through the two-hour watching.
Review by SAndman
March 19, 2015
Director: Doug Liman
screenplay: Christopher McQuarrie, Jez Butterworth and John-Henry Butterworth
Tom Cruise as Major William Cage
Emily Blunt as Sergeant Rita Rose Vrataski
Bill Paxton as Master Sergeant Farell
Brendan Gleeson as General Brigham
Rita Vrataski: We should just reset.
Sometime in the near future the Earth is invaded by alien forces which come to be known as Mimics; mankind puts together the United Defense Force, an army made up of conscripts from all the nations; as this army gets ready to launch an invasion on Europe the main character, Major William Cage (Tom Cruise) is summoned to the HQ where, much against his will, he's assigned the task of reporting on the upcoming battle.
He disobeys the order, which lands him smack dab in a boot camp demoted to a private. In the matter of hours he is sent to the battle kicking and screaming, and no sooner does he parachute on the beach than is killed by a Mimic.
Instantly he wakes up in the camp, and it is the previous day. He is confused and scared and has to go through the ordeal of battle one more time. He gets killed again, practically on the same spot on the beach he'd got killed the previous time - that is, the day before which is also the following day.
When Cage wakes up for the second time he tries to warn his superior officer, but sure enough they put him in a straitjacket, and have him strap on a combat suit and then have him parachuted in the thick of battle. This scenario repeats several times with slight variations until Cage meets the war hero Sergeant Rita Vrataski (Emily Blunt) on the battlefield, who tells him to find her next time he wakes up.
From her he learns what is happening to him and how he has gained an ability to reset time. She proposes a bold plan but he is skeptical and wants to get out. But before that, he has to help Sergeant Vrataski defeat Mimics.
The plot of Edge of Tomorrow is fast paced and tight. The focus is on the main character and his task. The gimmick of the film is that Major Cage gets to do the same things over and over again but as he goes through the motions each time there are slight differences in the plot, and each time he gets a little bit further ahead than the last time.
At the beginning, the main character comes across as self-serving egotistical jerk but as the story progresses he evolves into a true warrior. The support characters are entertaining and lovable. Sergeant
Vrataski ( Emily Blunt) is a tougher- than- nails heroine haunted by a harrowing experience. Cage's superior is the hilarious Sergeant Major Farell (Bill Paxton), who commands a squad of ragtag soldiers and has the unfortunate duty of whipping them into shape.
There is a gamut of head-spinning, gritty visuals from the splash of mud and sand of the battlefield to the dazzling Mimics to the hard-used gear the troopers wear to battle. The battle sequences are crafted with an eye for detail worthy of any number of war films.
The high-tech combat suit – exoskeleton packed with machine guns and grenade launchers - feels well worn and sturdy. Last but not least, the Mimics' concept feel fresh and captivating; they are fast and deadly - morphing their bodies in an eye-blink - and they just keep coming; furthermore their ability to create a time loop, once it gets in the possession of humans, opens up a plethora of mind-bending plot twists.
What's more, speaking to the virtues of the plot, if the viewer should occasionally get lost in the various repetitions of the same day, there is always just enough reference to get him back on track and at once keep him on his toes.
Finally, despite the occasional moments of comic relief, the overall tone of Edge of Tomorrow is bleak and unrelenting. The more the main character gets embroiled in the action the more sinister and hopeless his prospects look. Tom Cruise's battered physique gets this point across exceptionally well, which proves how good an actor he really is. He literally lives and breathes the role of a lonely and tormented hero.
Based on the strengths of the plot and directing, plus the all-round strong performances of the star-studded cast, Edge of Tomorrow stands out from number of mediocre SF flicks and provides 110-odd minutes of action-packed sequences rounded off with an edgy (pun intended) twist.
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