STARRING: Tom Cruise, Emily Blunt, Bill Paxton, Brendan Gleeson, Jonas Armstrong, Tony Way, Charlotte Riley, Franz Drameh, Kick Gurry and Noah Taylor
An officer finds himself caught in a time loop in a war with an alien race. His skills increase as he faces the same brutal combat scenarios, and his union with a Special Forces warrior gets him closer and closer to defeating the enemy.
Edge of Tomorrow puts us into an environment as which the world is on the brink of a final assault against an alien life form that all they have done so far is contain it in Europe. This aliens, called Mimic’s, crashed landed into Earth from asteroids and are just shredding these cities to rubble and now mankind decides to put all its chips in to unite the world’s armies to take them on.
Major William Cage is an officer who has never seen a day of combat (used more of a face for media role) and when he declines the order of going in with a crew on the front line forces on the mission, he is knocked out, demoted and finds himself being planted into nothing more than what is a suicide mission. After being killed in action by one of the Mimic’s, he also manages to kill it and get some of it’s blood on him and then wakes up back the day before the failed invasion attempt. Cage then begins to have his groundhog day here and slowly but surely becomes a weapon that comes closer to getting off that beach on arrival and no thanks to warrior Rita Vrataski, whom he meets along the way and tells him to come find her to train him whenever he dies/wakes up again and again.
Well this was the most pleasant surprise of 2014 so far. I LOVED this film. It had an already told premise of an alien invasion but adding in the groundhog day element actually made it fresh and humorous with the many ways that you witness Tom Cruise die in this film. Yes, you remember the dreary awful tone that you got from the trailers leading up to this? Couldn’t be further from the mark. One has to question who was behind the marketing campaign as they’ve been terrible in how they’ve handled this gem that they have and I really hope it does well in terms of the numbers game.
This is the best I’ve enjoyed from Tom Cruise in a role in a long time, primarily because the character of Major William Cage is a terrified man. He’s never seen a day of combat in his life and he’s not looking to start it now by going into a war zone on the front line. I mean he even resorts to blackmail against the General launching the world army assault just so he can stay where he is. That entire sequence of the first time they reach the beach/alien attack is memorable for just how shit scared Cage is throughout the whole thing, until the panicked laugh he realises after killing a Mimic, before a big one arrives, kills it/gets killed and then we have sci-fi Groundhog Day. We witness the progression of Cage becoming more of a soldier but when certain developments are made clear to us and how much actually rests on Cage’s shoulders, he’s still terrified and looks to shun that responsibility onto anyone but himself.
Emily Blunt is a badass as Rita Vrataski, a decorated warrior that has killed more Mimics than anyone on Earth and has a connection with Cage’s turmoil that isn’t too surprising when you think back on it after you’ve watched the film, but you’re so caught up in what’s going on you kind of put it in the back of your mind. Her interactions also with Cage in the training sessions are hilarious as well. Also nice to see that Rita is more of the mentor role in this film than the love interest.
In terms of the supporting cast, Bill Paxton has a good time spouting his dialogue as Master Sergeant Farell and the J Squad group are unfortunately not given as much depth in this film but it is essentially focused on Cage and Rita, with Rita’s friend Dr. Carter helping out on what makes the Mimics tick.
The direction and pace I found well balanced, Liman gives us the laughs and also knows when to cut away from the same scene playing out after a few attempts to give us something fresh in terms of visual and revelation. Also it should be noted that Mimics are the hide and seek champions in alien film history in terms of how well they hide in particular places considering their size.
Not original by any means but yet gives the sci-fi genre a nice reminder of how it can balance a serious story with humour and be somewhat original and not a sequel/reboot. Definitely Cruise’s best character development role in an age and Blunt holds her own, if not more, than Cruise. Just hope this film does well all round considering the trailers just made this look like another Oblivion. Seriously, just look at the trailer. 9/10