Just because Edge of Tomorrow had the box office snot beaten out of it by The Fault in Our Stars does not mean it wasn’t amazing. It had all the makings of a summer blockbuster – action and aliens. Sure, it was a rehashing of everything we’ve already seen before but in a delightfully original way. We’ve seen robotic suits that turn humans into fighting machines, we’ve seen alien invasions, and we’ve seen the Groundhog Day concept – but never all in one movie.
Aliens have invaded! It’s the attack of the “mimics” and humans are fighting for their very survival. This futuristic saga is based on the Japanese novel, All You Need is Kill. Starring Tom Cruise as military PR man Major William Cage, he’s the charismatic face on the talk show circuit “selling” the military and encouraging new recruits. He’s never seen a real battle and doesn’t intend to. All of that changes when he meets General Brigham (Brendan Gleeson, Gangs of New York) who orders him to storm the beach with the first wave of troops. Arrested as a deserter after refusing orders, Major Cage finds himself demoted and exactly where he didn’t want to be: the battlefield. This is when the fun begins.
Cage learns firsthand about those robotic exoskeleton suits he’s been hyping up and proves just how worthless an untrained soldier can be. Lumbering about in the robotic suit, begging his new colleagues to take the safety off, Cage went into battle weaponless. That initial helplessness made for a truly terrifying ordeal. And then he dies… and immediately wakes up one day earlier. Where everything happens exactly as it did before. Each time he dies he wakes up on the same day and events unfold exactly as they did before with only his actions as the variable. Think Groundhog Day. Confusing for him at first, it proves to be a comprehensible ordeal that might just prove valuable in the fight against the invading aliens.
Seeing Tom Cruise falter through his own incompetence lent the actor a vulnerable charm not often seen in his characters. It wasn’t the brash know-it-all character we’ve come to expect from this actor. Instead he acted the same way I might if I were suddenly thrust into battle, creating an instantly identifiable character. Watching this character use his almost endlessly repeated day to train and eventually master the art of combat is a true joy.
Tom Cruise can be hit or miss with the general movie going public yet this might be the perfect movie to gain Mr. Cruise some additional credibility. He sure seems to have this sci-fi action genre down! Not only does he do a superb job but he dies a zillion different ways. Whether he’s shot, run over or blown up there’s humor in seeing someone die so many times so many ways, and the screenwriters have used that angle well. His trigger happy partner, Rita Vrataski (Emily Blunt, The Devil Wears Prada) might agree as she’s quick to kill him when things aren’t going their way.
Rita is the face of the military after scoring a major win in Verdun, which earned her the moniker “Angel of Verdun.” She’s the only one with any insight into what Cage is going through. She takes him under her wing and together they create an endlessly entertaining duo to watch. As Rita, Emily Blunt is an energetic breath of fresh air. With her no-nonsense attitude and dirt smudged face she effortlessly holds her own on-screen with Cruise. For once the female lead isn’t just arm candy or the damsel-in-distress, she’s a battle hardened warrior determined to do whatever it takes to win this war. She isn’t afraid to die. And she refuses to lose. William Cage more or less rides the coattails of her moxie until he finds his own.
Directed by Doug Liman (The Bourne Identity) and written by Christopher McQuarrie (Jack Reacher) this action packed sci-fi thriller won’t disappoint. Chock-full of dark comedy this is a summer must-see. Between this and Oblivion, Tom Cruise is quickly getting back on track — he’s picking some smart projects to put his name on. Let’s just hope they can find an audience. Go see this movie!
Aurora Snow Says