EDGE OF TOMORROW is an adrenalin-ridden, hamster-wheel of edgy creativity and entertaining story-telling. In short, itâ€™s pretty much a louder, crazier hybrid between SOURCE CODE and STARSHIP TROOPERS.
Directed by Doug Liman, from a screenplay by Christopher McQuarrie and Jez and John-Henry Butterworth, based on the novel entitled ALL YOU NEED IS KILL by Hiroshi Sakurazaka, EDGE OF TOMORROW presents a world thatâ€™s at war with an indestructible alien force (known as Mimics) no army, let alone person, can defeat and/or stand up to â€“ and the greatest war is still at large. Countless men and women will fight and all will be evaporated by these Mimics, unless the United Defense Forceâ€™s least likely recruit (Tom Cruise) can succeed in employing the most mind-boggling strategy: Live. Die. Repeat.
When we first meet Major William Cage (Cruise) he is a slick PR officer in the U.S. Army, a position he took upon the demise of his career in advertising thanks to the global war on aliens. Heâ€™s never had an injury bigger than a papercut in his entire pretty, white-collar life and canâ€™t even stand the sight of blood. When he finds himself about to join the UDF troops (J Squad led by Bill Paxton) on the battlefield of the final push in the war…not only is he unprepared, heâ€™s shittinâ€™ bricks!
Killed within minutes, Cage now finds himself inexplicably thrown into a time loop â€“ forcing him to live out the same brutal combat over and over, fighting and dying again and gain. But with each repeated battle, Cage becomes able to engage with increasing skills, alongside Special Forces warrior Rita Vrataski (Emily Blunt). As Cage and Rita take the fight to the Mimics, each repeated encounter gets them one step closer to surprisingly defeating the enemy.
Setting off what may be one of the hottest flicks to catch this summer, EDGE OF TOMORROW isnâ€™t bad for a play-it-over-again narrative that allows Cruise haters to watch him die over and over again.
Itâ€™s a piece Iâ€™m sure most viewers will find themselves intrigued by unforeseen, highly undesirable circumstances the characters are immersed in and their reactions to them. The structure of story and the way the time loop works (cleverly portrayed by Liman) allow the viewers to come in, understand the rules and then go right along the ride with Cage (and Rita) on a constant accelerative progression, even though heâ€™s living the same day over and over. It never feels the same because his behavior always changes; he always moves the action forward.
One the filmâ€™s best strengths aside from its gritty and awesome visuals are its character moments. Cruise and Blunt have great chemistry and smooth sail through their roles as if they were actual soldiers of the future. Living up to their objectives, many, if not all, scenes shared by the duo are interesting and informative â€“ one of them which happens during the third act was even warm. Quite the heartfelt moment when caring for each other evolves as the story plays along, Cage and Rita come off like a team that was meant to meet, train and fight the battles that were brought upon them.
Now as much might and power as EDGE may present, my gripe with the film had to be how the narrative reaches its ending. Itâ€™s clear in how it all comes to be, however, it wasnâ€™t as climactic or rewarding as I would have loved for it to be. Not much feeling went along with it, leaving me wanting just a tad more, or perhaps an alternate ending. Just under two hours, the build-up to its last scene had way more drive and emotion. Itâ€™s almost like I actually wanted the war to continue. But even with a loose grip on its â€œgrand finale,â€ Doug Liman once again presents us with another action-packed piece that keeps you in a loop of thrilling rushes and mind-blowing replays.
Grade: B / Genre: Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Thriller / Rated: PG-13 / Run Time: 1 Hr. 53 Min.
Starring: Tom Cruise, Emily Blunt, Bill Paxton, Brendan Gleeson
Directed by: Doug Liman
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