First, let’s dispel the notion that ‘Edge of Tomorrow’ is some kind of ‘Groundhog Day’ meets ‘Aliens.’ Okay, I can see why you might think that.
‘Edge of Tomorrow’ actually is the best piece of cinematic Action Sci-Fi since ‘Looper.’
Director Doug Liman and star Tom Cruise have taken the Hiroshi Sakurazaka book ‘All You Need is Kill,’ and crafted one of the most entertaining and intelligent Science Fiction movies in years.
In the film version of Sakurazaka’s story, Army Major Bill Cage (Cruise) is a Public Relations Officer tasked with improving the public perception of a war that the world is losing against an alien invasive force.
When Cage cowardly refuses to comply with an assignment placing him on the front lines of battle, his commanding officer forcibly demotes him to Private and to become part of the global military’s Infantry unit.
Ill-equipped for combat, Cage is killed quickly after his deployment by one of the extraterrestrial invaders, called ‘Mimics.” When Cage and the E.T. mutually destroy each other, the soldier’s exposure to a unique “Alpha” Mimic and its alien blood renders him slightly “unstuck” in time as we know it.
Each time that Cage dies, he is returned to a point in time just prior to being deployed in the doomed military exercise. Once Cage meets the “Full Metal Bitch” Rita Vratasky (Emily Blunt), he learns that she also had been similarly exposed to Alpha blood and stuck in a surreal time loop of her own.
Will Cage and Vratasky join forces to stop the alien horde? Duh. The trailer pretty well spells that out for us.
Will the heroic duo be supported by an intelligent and creative script, incredibly-rendered battle scenes, and even a little humor and romance?
Cruise and Blunt have genuine chemistry that goes beyond the trite “meet-cute” inevitability of their attraction to each other. As Cage and Vratasky grow closer with each “reset”, we learn that their similarities and shared experiences draw them together. It’s as credible and equitable a relationship as can be found in the genre.
She’s as smart and tough as ‘Ripley’ (Sigourney Weaver in the ‘Alien’ series of films) and he’s, well, a work in progress with potential. Both characters are smart and tough and their partnership is believable.
The Mimics are genuinely creepy and intense. They pursue their prey with a frightening speed and lethality that adds levels of tension to the film. The first time that we witness the battle front, it’s reminiscent of the Omaha beach scene in ‘Saving Private Ryan.’ The doomed-to-fail attack on the aliens is violent, chaotic, and memorable.
‘Edge of Tomorrow’ is brilliantly done. Entertaining, thoughtful, and filled with intense action.
I love a good time-loop flick, Flixnerds, and ‘Edge of Tomorrow’ is right up there with ‘Source Code’ and ‘Looper’ as one the the sub-genre’s best efforts.
Flixnerd Rating: ‘Edge of Tomorrow’ ★★★★☆