Sunday, June 01, 2014

Edge Of Tomorrow

Year: 2014
Director: Doug Liman
Cast: Tom Cruise, Emily Blunt, Bill Paxton, Brendan Gleeson

Plot: A soldier fighting an alien invasion finds himself reliving the same day again and again every time he dies, and the only way to stop it is to learn how to beat the aliens and save the world.

Review: The old time loop story is most well known to movie fans through Groundhog Day and the much newer Source Code, though my fonder memories of this comes from an episode of The X-Files as well as one from Star Trek: The Next Generation. Basically it involves a person reliving the same day over and over, and the person has to find a way out, usually by doing things differently.

In this film, based on the novel All You Need Is Kill, Tom Cruise plays William Cage, a soldier forced into the front lines of an alien battle. Having little to no combat experience, he gets killed pretty quick, only to find himself back at the start of the day before. Try as he might, he can't get himself out of the battle, nor convince anyone about what's happening to him, except one. Rita Vrataski (Emily Blunt), the military's star soldier, believes him and tries to help him, telling him that he holds the key to beating the aliens.

Thanks to Doug Liman's kinetic pace and Cruise's charisma, there is never a dull moment here. Liman moves the film along with action sequence after action sequence, with bits of humor in between as Cruise gets himself killed over and over, a lot of times in hilarious or unexpected fashion. It's also really cool to see the battle suits the soldiers use, even though it makes them look like a cross between Robocop and that machine Ripley uses in Aliens. The battle itself, that takes place on a beach, is reminiscent of Normandy in WW2, so if you liked Saving Private Ryan, you'd know what I'm talking about. Even the aliens look different from the kinds I've seen, so that's another plus.

Cruise is great in the role, being the guy who has to learn how to fight instead of a general ass kicker for once, though he predictably gets better as the story moves along. He makes a great team with Blunt, who in reverse, has to be the skilled fighter which she usually isn't in her other films. Scenes of Blunt training Cruise over and over are rather entertaining, you'll get what I mean when you see them.

The only complaint I have is a tiny feeling that perhaps someone younger than Cruise would have suited the role better. Don't get me wrong, Cruise is great as he always is, and his near ageless looks give him an edge. But even so, he is noticeably older than the members in his squad, whereas someone a little younger would have fit right in. And maybe another complaint would be the too perfect ending, but these are miniscule overall.

Edge Of Tomorrow, despite its cheesy title (All You Need Is Kill sounds much better), is great entertainment whether you like Tom Cruise or not. Recommended. (4/5) 

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