Live. Die. Repeat. These three words echo throughout every frame of director Doug Liman’s new science fiction action spectacular Edge of Tomorrow starring Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt. If your looking for a rush then you’ve come to the right place.
In the near future an alien force known as the Mimics are threatening to destroy earth and humanity. Career military officer Major William Cage (Tom Cruise), who has never seen a day in combat, earns the scorn of his superiors and is chucked head first into combat. His tour of duty isn’t very long, and he is quickly killed, but not before taking down a Mimic Alpha and taping into their ability to ‘reset’ the day. Now with the ability to relive the same day over and over again Cage enlists the help of Special Forces soldier Rita Vrataski (Emily Blunt), and becomes the ultimate warrior, and now has a chance to defeat the Mimics and save the world.
Cruise shines in the role of Major William Cage, a high flying military PR officer, whose job it is to sell the war, and who until now, has never even served a day in combat. His trajectory from oafish, spinmaster ad man to grunt is pretty quick, and the realities of war hit him square in the chest. But not before he takes down one of the enemy with him, tapping into their power to control time and space. With his reset power in hand and a keen intellect and set of reflexes he becomes the ultimate gunmetal warrior, blowing through round after round of alien monsters in an exo-skeleton suit which becomes like a second skin. But while he might end up as the ultimate soldier, he also allows Cage moments of gripping dramatic tension and guaranteed comedic gold. A running gag of how many different ways Cage can die never gets old, as is the seriousness of how important these deaths become to the pursuit of winning the war. Cruise is clearly having a blast making this movie, and his enthusiasm and commitment to the character shines in every single frame of the film. He’s at the top of his game, and his journey from grunt to badass is pretty cool to watch.
The film also stars Emily Blunt as Rita Vrataski, also known as ‘the Angel of Verdun’, also known as the ‘Full Metal Bitch’. Vrataski is a no-nonsense tough chick, a decorated Special Forces soldier, who recognizes what Cage has become and set’s out to turn him into a super soldier, who with her help might be able to defeat the Mimics and save humanity. Vrataski is also presented as a Joan of Arc figure, a fighting angel held up as the possible savior of the world, but even in her messiah like status she is not devoid of emotions such as love and fear, which Vratasksi seems desperate to hide, and which Blunt does an excellent job of portraying. Cruise and Blunt stand toe to toe with each other and this is the very reason the film works, while there’s enough explosions and action to keep the audience primed, the solid acting from these two co-stars will keep them gripped in their seats, as both actors are at their very best.
Finally there’s Bill Paxton, and man is he a hoot. Where Paxton was once the ever loveable, wisecracking, smartass Hudson in ‘Aliens’, here as Master Sergeant Farrell Bartolome he’s a completely different man. Master Sergeant Bartolome is a complete spit and polish career grunt, who is the complete and utter opposite of Hudson, he’s an intentional hard ass, who likes the fact that he is the biggest hardass in the military, and loves nothing more than berating his squad in both the glories of combat, and of their failures, which are particularly funny to watch.
Edge Of Tomorrow is simply a phenomenal movie. If you go into it thinking that you’ll just witness a ‘Groundhog Day/Starship Troopers’ mashup, then I’m telling you now you’ll be very disappointed. While the film is an action junkies dream, it also takes a serious look at concepts and ideas such as fate, time and the future. There’s been a lot of thought placed into this movie, and even in the most crazy action spectacular scene (and believe me there are a few of them), you will find yourself drawn into its phenomenal and gripping story.
Director Doug Liman is at his best here, and Edge of Tomorrow is easily his best film since 2002’s ‘The Bourne Identity’, the action scenes that he crafts are nothing short of genius. The film’s time travel plot point also allows for a continual shift in the action, so nothing is ever really presented in the same way, and the rapid-fire cutting, and Christophe Beck’s intense score really pushes the action forward. Part of what makes Edge of Tomorrow so awesome is the exo-skeleton battle suits that Cruise and Blunt get to use, these things pack a serious amount of hardware, and with the amount of munitions that Cruise and Blunt go through, its kind of amazing that there was still a world left to save, it’s intense!
The film also has absolute ingenious moments showcasing the many ways in which Tom Cruise can be killed. Some are serious and dramatic, while others are just lough out loud funny. And off course every time he does die, he comes back better and better, until he is the ultimate alien killer. It’s just fantastic.
Edge Of Tomorrow is so far the best film I’ve seen all year, it is an intense, visceral action spectacular, with a solid pair of actors who are at their very best. It’s an absolute thrill ride, don’t miss it!