Movie Review: Edge of Tomorrow (2014)

Posted: February 15, 2015 in Action
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edge of tomorrow

In the future, aliens called Mimics invade the earth and are pushing toward global domination.  A reluctant army officer named Cage (Tom Cruise) kills one of the aliens, and dies himself.  Cage then wakes up, and realizes he’s re-living the same day again and again.  He meets one of the heroes from a prior battle, whose name is Rita (Emily Blunt) she starts to train Cage and make him a better, more intelligent soldier.  After dying a number of times, Cage learns that finding the Omega alien is the key to winning the battle against the aliens. The Omega alien is headquartered in Paris, Rita and Cage must kill the Omega alien to end the war.  Why does Cage keep re-living the same day over and over again?  Can Cage and Rita get to Paris and kill the Omega alien and save humanity from extinction?

Edge of Tomorrow is an excellent movie.  One might dismiss it as some sort of military Groundhog Day, but it’s precisely the repetition of the same day, the evolution of Cage from a person who will do anything not to fight this war, to a man fully equipped to fight the war, that makes the movie worth watching.  The reason the day keeps repeating is also interesting.  Sure, there are elements of Groundhog Day in this movie as well as Independence Day, but there are enough interesting new elements to keep the viewer watching.  I also liked that the war against the aliens is not presented in an antiseptic video game format.  War is presented as a dirty, muddy, brutal affair; in fact the first battle evokes memories of D-day, complete with beach landing.  Other cities like Whitehall and Verdun from past World Wars are mentioned, that can’t be coincidental.

Tom Cruise is actually very good in this film, that’s the first time I’ve been able to say that in a long time.  He plays the full range of this character, and plays it well.  It’s refreshing to see the change from the instant hero, ready to fight role that he usually plays.  His character has to learn to fight, and the viewer can see Cage’s confidence growing on Cruise’s face.  It also doesn’t hurt that Cruise’s character is a jerk at the start of the film, and the viewer might get a certain amount of glee from seeing Cage (or Cruise for that matter) being killed again and again.  Cruise may be good, but Emily Blunt is the star who carries this movie, she is decidedly NOT a damsel in distress, in fact she is the battle hardened one who trains Cruise’s character to toughen up.  There is little sentimentality in her character, and that is refreshing.  There is a good ensemble cast, including Brendon Gleeson, Bill Paxton, and Tony Way.

This is a long movie, but the pacing is good, there are some points where the movie lags, but for the most part, it’s a fun trip. Director Doug Limon has directed The Bourne Identity, one of my favorite films, and he keeps the action coming in Edge of Tomorrow.

Edge of Tomorrow:  Tom’s career is not on cruise control anymore.

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