Edge Of Tomorrow (2014) - Theatrical Release Jun 12, 2014 7:17:01 GMT -5
Post by Erik Rupp on Jun 12, 2014 7:17:01 GMT -5
Short review? Edge Of Tomorrow is a very, very good movie with an excellent twist on an old theme. Highly recommended as a theatrical experience.
If you take the ages old Alien Invasion concept and infuse it with something new you just might have something worth watching. In the case of Edge Of Tomorrow that something new is more that a little Groundhog Day. Neither concept is new, but those two story ideas put together, as the producers and writers of this movie have, makes for a new mix, a new twist, and it works extremely well.
Tom Cruise plays a middle aged man, a former marketing rep named William Cage who joins the Army when his marketing firm goes under in the aftermath of an alien invasion that quickly swept through most of Europe. He becomes the pretty boy talking head for public relations to win support for the war effort and to bring in new recruits. Much to his surprise he is sent to England where he is told by a British general that he is being assigned to accompany an invasion force that will be launching the next day. Cage, having no combat experience or training (previously, he had only been in ROTC in college), attempts to get out of the assignment, going so far as to blackmail the general. The end result is he is arrested and busted down to private and sent to accompany the invasion force as a soldier, not a reporter. Unable to convince anyone that he does not really belong with the invasion force he finds himself under attack on the beach of Northern France, and is quickly killed (along with almost everyone else in the invasion force).
And that's where things get interesting.
Cage repeats the same day over and over until he is killed, at which point the day is reset.
He runs across the hero of the war up to that point, Sergeant Rita Vrataski on the French beach where the invasion takes place. They are both killed, but before they are killed she recognizes that he has been there before and she tells him to find her, "When you wake up." It turns out that she had been going through the same thing, resetting a day and replaying it over and over. So with the knowledge that she knows he has regarding the details of the invasion, she trains him to be a legitimate soldier and they begin their plans to use his ability to reset the day in order to defeat an enemy that always seems to be one step ahead of the humans.
As serious as this movie is there is still some room for comic relief, and a couple of the gags are laugh out loud funny. Edge of Tomorrow gets just about everything right. There is solid drama and character development, suspense, action, and the occasional bits of very effective humor. And the acting in the movie is excellent as well. Bill Paxton plays a key role as a sergeant leading a combat unit which includes now Private Cage. And Cruise and Emily Blunt (Vrataski) are outstanding in their roles as well. Cruise in particular is extremely effective in taking Cage from a pretty boy talking head to a hard boiled soldier willing to risk his life to stop the alien invasion.
The only downside to the movie is a scant look at the alien invaders. They come across as generic aliens with superior technology and aren't really given much in the way of motivation or explanation. Little is known about them and they tend to just serve the purpose of having bad guys to fight. Even so, they are a formidable enemy for humanity and the lack of information about them almost helps the story in that they are a bit of a mystery to the American and British military leaders. So even the movie's weak link is a strength in another way.
And the movie is just gorgeous to look at. The photography and direction are as good as you'll see in an alien invasion movie, and the editing is just right, too. Edge of Tomorrow may have plenty of time to breathe in between action scenes, but it never lags or drags.
Edge of Tomorrow is exactly what makers of big Summer movies should aspire to.
As noted in the beginning, this one is highly recommended for theatrical viewing.