Edge of Tomorrow – DVD Review 4.5/5 stars
Live Die Repeat was a great film. Too bad it was named Edge of Tomorrow. Somehow that didn’t seem like an important thing to really stress on the DVD cover though. It is there, way down at the bottom, in the red writing. Ah well, it’s obvious the studio never asks us, do they?
Tom Cruise plays Major William Cage, a PR officer in the army who has been on a recruiting kick since the development of exo-skeleton armour that powers up a regular soldier and gives them nearly superhuman abilities with very little training. The armies of the world need this edge, as they’re now united against a common enemy: an alien race that came to earth with a meteor strike and has been slowly taking over the world. These aliens are monsters, plain and simple. They’re bug eyed monsters called Mimics, they’re spider-like creatures with tentacles, just alien. And they’re not taking over the world by subterfuge, they’re just slowly killing humans by the thousands, marching across Europe, leaving dead, empty cities in their wake. But humanity is striking back, and are planning on launching a massive offensive movement in the coming days, an attack that will be led by Rita Vrataski (Emily Blunt). Vrataski’s know as the Full Metal Bitch as behind her back, and the Angel of Verdun to the public. Her fighting skills were unmatched on the battlefield as she defeated the Mimics with the help of her giant sword, fashioned from a helicopter blade. The upcoming battle should go well, and Maj0r Cage has nothing to worry about, until he’s told by General Brigham (Brendan Gleeson) that he’ll be right there on the front line, documenting the battle for future recruitment. Wanting no part of that, Cage is arrested and knocked out before he is dropped off at a base where he is to be dispatched in two days. Having no training, Cage can’t even figure out how to take the safety off of his weapon, and once he is on the beachhead, he’s killed pretty easily by an Alpha Mimic, but at least he kills it too. Not much of a movie if lead actor Tom Cruise dies in the first battle right? Don’t worry, Major Cage wakes up to find himself repeating the last day, being sent off to the front, and dying again. Stuck in a time loop, Cage learns battlefield skills and eventually becomes a marginally better soldier, until one time he meets Vrataski, just as she dies. The next time he loops in to save her, but she figures out something is different about Cage and tells him to find her when he wakes up. It turns out Rita had the same ability to reset the day, and that ability was because of the Alpha that they had both killed. It seems the blood of the Alpha gives them this limited time travel ability, Rita lost hers because one time she didn’t fully die, and the Alpha’s blood was drained away in a transfusion that saved her life. Rita now trains Cage as their next best hope to win the war, and find the Omega Mimic, which controls all the rest on the planet.
Okay, my description may not be the best, but you hopefully get the point. I have to say, this was a very enjoyable film. It was essentially a sci-fi WWII battle film, and it worked quite well. Impressive effects, lots of action, tempered nicely with humour, and a pretty good science fiction/time travel concept. The acting was very good, and I’m reminded again how much I like Emily Blunt, who did an excellent job by leading the action and serving as the mentor to Cruise’s character. I found that to be a nice switch from the norm, where her role would typically be a male character. Now, this was definitely was Groundhog Day with aliens; not Groundhog Day in space which I had originally thought it was….because it all took place on Earth. The parallels to that film are obvious: an unskilled, cocky man betters himself by training and practicing and practicing every day until he gets things right, only in Edge of Tomorrow, we actually know why he’s looping in time, and he knows how to get out of the loop.
Bottom Line: Based on the 2004 Japanese novel All You Need is Kill by Hiroshi Sakurazaka, it as been re-released as Edge of Tomorrow and has a fairly different ending. I haven’t read it, but I know the original ending. Perhaps one day I’ll pick the novel up, and add it to my ever-growing “to read” pile…