I’m gonna get this out of the way right now. If you like Sci-Fi, Doug Liman, and Tom Cruise the actor (for the record I don’t really like Tom Cruise the person. But, let’s face it, dude is a movie-star in every sense of the word), then you should see this movie. Stop reading and go. You’ll have a good time, I promise. I knew the premise of Edge of Tomorrow going in, and while I feel that knowing it didn’t do any harm to my viewing experience you may not want to go once I have explained it. You’ve been warned.
So yes, this film’s premise is basically Groundhog Day with aliens. And while that statement sounds very reductive, this movie’s take on repeating the same day over and over again is well handled. The great thing about it, for me, is that they don’t just have William Cage (Cruise) repeat the same day because……reasons, they actually build it into the world and make it apart of the invading alien’s biology. And that made it a much easier pill to swallow.
In the beginning of the movie, we learn through news segments that the world has been invaded by Mimics (that’s what they call the aliens), and they have conquered much of Europe. Cage, a press liaison for the military, is tasked by General Bringham (Brendan Gleeson) to film a documentary of sorts about the storming of the beaches of Frances as the humans make their first push to win back the Europe. He refuses. Cage is not combat trained and fears for his life, he doesn’t even like the sight of blood. He is denied his refusal, thrown into a battle suit and whisked off to war.
That first battle scene is pretty cool and highlights the fact that Cage is a noob. He sucks at controlling the suit, hell he even sucks at being a normal person constantly bumping into things and just generally being the worst. But after he ineptly kills one of the Alpha Mimics of France and ingests much of it’s blood, he awakes in the previous day about to be whisked off to war again. Seeing him relive this same day is pretty great, as we get to watch Cage learn to use the suit with the help of Rita Vrataski (Emily Blunt), which leads to some pretty sweet action beats. And it’s nice to see Cruise play the bumbling stooge, at least for a little while anyway.
As it turns out, this ability to relive the same day over and over again is exactly how these aliens take planets. One central hide mind controls this power and whenever an Alpha Mimics is killed, the day resets and the Mimics are able to adjust their strategies until they get it right and wipe out the residents of the planet. A great concept that was the ‘easy swallow coating’ for the groundhog pill. Cage and Rita (who also had to relive a day over and over again, but now lost that power) take it upon themselves to find the hide mind, kill it and be the heroes.
Overall I really enjoyed Edge of Tomorrow. It has great action moments, the Mimics’ design is pretty rad (a tad reminiscent of the sentinels from The Matrix) and it also has a solid sense of humour about itself. The ending however I found to be a pretty big cop-out as it tries to leave us with a warm fuzzy feeling that I could have done without. It also emphasizes one other gripe I have, which is, thinking about this movie too much will lead to seeing some pretty big inconsistencies (an expectation for time travel movies really….expect for Primer mind blown on that one), but I never felt that as I was watching. Those are minor gripes for me because the rest of the flick is a great ride that easily entertains.
Edge of Tomorrow (2014)
Although it wears it’s inspirations on it’s sleeve, this is a great summer movie with sweet action, a good sense of humour. It’s just an overall great way to spend 2 hours at the movies.