Movie Review: “Edge of Tomorrow”

   Edge of Tomorrow is a 2014 American military science fiction film starring Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt. The film is based on a Japanese light novel called All You Need Is Kill by Hiroshi Sakurazaka. It was directed by Doug Liman, other-wise known for his work on Mr. and Mrs. Smith, Go, and The Bourne Identity.

   The first question that you might be asking is why they decided to go with the name “Edge of Tomorrow”. After all, it’s a name that practically screams generic, whereas the other-title is actually kind-of cool. I don’t have an answer for you, I find it mind-boggling myself.

  Other-wise, I was interested in this film. I remembered reading coverage about it from the beginning that it went into production. It wasn’t too high in the hierarchy of films that I wanted to see, but I wanted to see it. And even if it’s almost two-weeks after the release, I finally broke down, went down to the theater, and bought a ticket. I wanted to read the book beforehand, so I could be one of those guys that bitches and moans about how the movie didn’t measure-up, but I didn’t find the time. Also, there’s a part of me that doesn’t like spending eight bucks to buy a ticket to a movie that I have already finished reading the day before.

   The story takes place in a futuristic time-period when a race of Aliens called the Mimics have taken over continental Europe. Major William Cage, played by Tom Cruise, is brought in to meet with General Brigham. Brigham runs him down about this operation that they are planning to launch against the Mimics. He informs Cage that he’ll be doing cover combat on the beaches of France. Cage rejects and basically tries everything that he can to get out of it. He basically blackmails the General, who reacts by having him knocked out. Tom Cruise wakes up at an army-base and finds out that he is at an operating base. A lot of things happen, but most importantly, William Cage harnesses a strange ability. Every time that he dies, he wakes up back at the military-base like nothing happened. It’s up to him, and the character that he later meets in Emily Blunt, to decide how to progress from here.

   The concept of the film brings to mind a lot of other stories that we have seen before, notably, it has something like a Groundhog Day scenario with the character. The character, Major William Cage is acted particularly well by Tom Cruise. He comes off as very likable in his role, and is honestly one of the strongest qualities that this film has to offer. He does the role of coward becoming brave in a way that doesn’t feel like an absolute cliche. Emily Blunt does well in her role as well. I left the theater thinking that she was a strong-character. And refreshingly, it doesn’t feel like a strong “female” character. That is, she merely feels like a strong-character in-general, that has more of a handle of everything than Cage, but also fell victim to the same harrowing experiences.

   They help to hold the film together, however, the premise is brilliantly constructed, I like a lot of the things that they did with it. There’s a lot of complexity and sophistication, but it’s underlined with so much charm that it feels like a playfully engaging experience. A lot of that has to be credited to the directing and cinematography. The concept deals with a lot of darker subject-matter, but it tackles it with a way that doesn’t make it feel so dark and dreary. There’s a lot of humor in it, but it’s circumstantial and isn’t thrown in your face or excessive. The film could have easily been tedious with the concept, but it wasn’t. The special-effects are very well-done. The film is more driven by the concept and the story, however, the Mimics wandering about the 113 minute run-time are definitely a sight to behold. I thought of several different video-games, like Resident Evil and Gears of War. Which is funny because Hiroshi Sakurazaka actually describes video-games as being one of the main-inspirations for the story. The idea of being able to “reboot” and progress through trial and error.

   In conclusion, as I don’t want to start rambling about anything or waste your time, I think that I would full-heartedly recommend this film. The acting is absolutely inspired, filled with chemistry, charm, and wit. The special-effects are great, the pacing and directing was very well done, keeping it from ever dragging or feeling tedious, and the story is certainly unique. If it’s not the best movie that I have seen this year in theaters, it’s in the top-two, feuding with X-Men: Days of Future Past.

   Thanks for reading…

Rating: – Very Good

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