Edge Of Tomorrow Movie Review
The summer Block-buster season definitely opened on a high note with Captain America 2: The Winter Soldier. Since then we have had Godzilla and X-Men: Days of Future Past. I must say I am starting to feel spoiled. Now we have Edge of Tomorrow starring Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt. This movie kind-off slipped under the radar as did Cruise’s previous sci-fi movie Oblivion. For a 178 million dollar movie it has so far garnered relatively little attention. I can only hope that the positive reviews and the trailer showing with X-Men can change that because Edge Of Tomorrow is a must see movie. Unlike the other three movies Edge Of Tomorrow has some definite hard-core science fiction elements in a time when studios prefer to not even use the term in fear of scaring away viewers. Edge of Tomorrow will be out in the US on June 6th, but in an unusual twist pretty much everywhere else it will be released more than a week before. Living somewhere in Europe I had the opportunity to do a Edge Of Tomorrow Movie Review
Edge Of Tomorrow is full of emblems, some have gone so far as calling it a salute to the Second World War in Europe. For a story that started out as a Japanese light novel entitled All You Need Is Kill by Hiroshi Sakurazaka it is surprisingly international. Edge Of Tomorrow doesn’t shy away from paying homage to the Invasion Of Normandy by the Allies on June 6th 1944 nor the myriad of war movies such as Saving Private Ryan and The Battle Of Britain. However, the assault scenes that luckily do not completely form the meat of the action are in my opinion very much inspired by Paths of Glory from Stanley Kubrick. The cold and unforgiving slaughter in the mud and craters do much to drag the audience into the violent reality that director Doug Liman has envisioned. To conclude the homages I will say that there is even a hint of Children of Men with the end of the world setting.
In the near future, an alien race has invaded the Earth starting from Germany and overtaken almost the entirety of Western Europe. The aliens are nicknamed “Mimics” for their ability to mimic and respond to Earth military combat strategies with efficiency. After various losses, humankind finally achieves success with the creation of combat “jackets”, along with the battle victories of Special Forces soldier Rita Vrataski (Emily Blunt), who becomes a symbol for the war effort.
A final surprise assault is planned on the coast of France. As success is expected, General Brigham (Brendan Gleeson) orders Major William Cage (Tom Cruise) to be at the front with a camera crew. Cage’s background is in advertising and he is untrained for combat; despite his resistance and unfamiliarity with weapons he is forcibly sent to J Squad under Sergeant Farrell (Bill Paxton). Upon arriving at the beachfront the soldiers are ambushed, the Mimics aware of their arrival beforehand. Cage is overwhelmed and witnesses Vrataski’s death, but he manages to detonate a bomb, killing himself and an unusual-looking Mimic.
Cage wakes up at the scene of his meeting with Sergeant Farrell, and lives out the same day of training and deployment the following morning. He learns that his death triggers the time loop repeatedly, and despite his efforts to warn and save people, nobody believes him and the assault keeps playing out tragically. In one loop he saves Vrataski, and when she realises that he knows what is going to happen, she tells him to find her the next time he wakes up.
In the next loop, Cage manages to find Vrataski at the barracks, and she explains that she experienced the same phenomenon in the past. Mimics have the ability to control time, and when Cage killed the rare Alpha Mimic, its blood transferred its time-control powers to him. Using the loops, Vrataski is able to train Cage to improve his combat skills so they can hunt down the Omega, the brain of the Mimics. Cage improves, but seeing Vrataski die repeatedly on the battlefield strains him.
Cage has a vision of the Omega hiding in a dam in Germany. After many loops he and Vrataski are able to escape the beachfront, but the farthest point they can reach is an abandoned house, where no sequence of events can prevent Vrataski’s death. In the next loop Cage goes to the dam alone, only to find that it is a decoy. The following loops have Cage teaming up with Vrataski again, and after multiple tries they obtain a transponder that enables Cage to access the Mimic hive mind and find the real Omega. Cage learns that the Omega is under the Louvre, but he and Vrataski are involved in a car accident and fall unconscious. Cage wakes up in a hospital after a blood transfusion that has removed his time-control powers.
After Vrataski rescues Cage, they recruit J Squad for an assault on the Louvre, Cage using his intimate knowledge of the squad members to convince them to join. They attack the Louvre but only Cage and Vrataski manage to enter the sewers where the Omega is hiding. After sharing a kiss, Vrataski lures the guard Alpha away while Cage jumps into the Omega’s pool and detonates his grenades. The Omega is killed, but its blood seeps into Cage’s body before he dies.
Cage wakes up at his arrival at General Brigham’s office about to receive deployment orders. News arrives that there was an unexplained explosion in Paris and that Mimics are dying. Cage goes to the barracks to see Vrataski who is, from her point of view, meeting him for the first time.
To conclude my Edge Of Tomorrow Movie Review I will try and point out some of perceived deficiencies. Some reviewers have singled out Emily Blunt as one of the few disappointments in this movie. They state that it isn’t her acting or her character Rita Vrataski that are a problem but instead her lack of screen time. I think those reviewers have not been paying attention. Yes Emily Blunt could have used more screen time but it is the hard-as-iron Rita that I like to understand more. Rita is a truly captivating character, she is strong while Cage is inexperienced. Whereas Rita seems at home in her surroundings Cage seems awkward at even the best of times. Both Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt portray their characters with perfection, but it seems that the audience will favor the natural-born hero Rita over Cage who essentially suffers through a 2 hour boot camp. Rita seems to have deliberately no background story just to make her more captivating. At times this can be frustrating but I think it makes ‘Edge of Tomorrow’ work better.
For those desiring to watch a 2 hour SFX fest won’t be disappointed either. The action is tightly choreographed and the repeated death scenes are certainly imaginative. Bill Paxton strongly adds to the flavor with his tough as nails character Master Sergeant Farrell Bartolome. In fact if there is one thing I would have like more it would be Bill Paxton. Just fresh out of Agents Of SHIELD he certainly is the king of cool. The cast is further rounded off by Brendan Gleeson, who portrays the cynical General Brigham.
‘Edge of Tomorrow’ is an odd movie, some have called it a cross between Groundhog Day and Saving Private Ryan. That hardly does it justice. The movie is a quintessential Science Fiction flick. Which I think makes those who have seen it just wonder that they have seen. In a market full of superhero themed sci-fi movies Edge of Tomorrow feels refreshingly cool. A reminder that not only is war a dangerous and violent affaire but Science Fiction is at its best when it tries to screw with people’s heads. If you’re up to that than watch Edge Of Tomorrow and just ignore those opinions saying that the characters were not fleshed out properly or that the plot does not always make sense. When do they ever in real-life?
Score; 8.7 / 10. A surprise movie starring Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt, but will people go to see it?
Below you can also find a few pictures if the various premieres that have already taken place.
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