Movie Review: The Edge of Tomorrow

edge

Stars: Tom Cruise, Emily Blunt, Brendon Gleeson, Bill Paxton

Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of sci-fi action and violence, language and brief suggestive material, Running time 113 minutes minutes, Action/Sci-Fi

Compare to: Looper (2012), Elysium (2013)

When Tom Cruise makes a movie, it’s always a sketchy thing. Sure, you may have a great script and all other makings of an entertaining movie. But you’ll always have Tom Cruise playing a character much like the last film he did, whatever that may be.

And even though Edge of Tomorrow doesn’t stretch his acting any more than he’s proven himself in the past, everything lines up just right for this Sci-Fi Groundhog Day to keep your attention until the very end.

Based on manga All You Need is Kill, the story follows a military officer in a future world war versus a particularly vicious alien race that’s intent on conquering the human race. But when William Cage inexplicably gains the alien’s ability to restart the day as soon as he dies, a never-ending loop begins that may allow him enough time to figure out how to win the war.

"Watch that first step. It's a DOOZY!"

“Watch that first step. It’s a DOOZY!”

The strength of this film really does rely on how gripping much of the material is. Seeing Cruise’s character live out his life over and over in the span of a day begins much like Bill Murray’s 1993 Comedy, Groundhog’s Day. Certain comparisons are inevitable being that very few films involve one person living the same day over and over again. Cruise starts off confused but by a certain point, his life is just one giant experiment he tests on himself.

It’s pretty amusing how Cruise’s character uses his time. Does he save this obnoxious private he knows will die if he doesn’t do anything? Or does he spend that same time to kill one more pawn of the alien scum that might otherwise kill him? It raised a quick series of hypothetical questions in my mind that couldn’t be answered before we’re onto the next exciting scene of what Major William Cage does when he gets a little further than he thought he would.

"Any way we can rig the lottery with this power? I'm feelin' lucky."

“Any way we can rig the lottery with this power? I’m feelin’ lucky.”

It’s almost as though the filmmakers played a war-based video game and after only getting so far, theorized how crazy it would be if a real person were to restart a segment of a war every time he died instead of staying dead…only to find out a manga had gotten to the idea before them.

One bit of thankfulness to add is that Cruise’s role is one that has him tone down his usual “What do you want from me?!” intensity. He actually does feel a bit more like a character played by Tom Cruise than it does Tom Cruise doing stuff in the future. Being that he rarely dies in a film, it was interesting to see it become something of a running gag with how many times he dies here.

Last year’s Oblivion had a great look to it and some interesting plot elements but ultimately felt a little too flat in part due to Cruise’s distinct Alpha male demeanor permeating every scene. Everything will be okay as long as Tom Cruise is involved, so don’t worry.

But here you’re okay with him dying, you just hope he’ll get somewhere after all that death.

Gears of Blunt.

Gears of Blunt.

Positives: Cool effects, good story, attention grabbing, generally unpredictable plot. Bill Paxton fighting aliens in the future with the military (and with Mech suits) is just enjoyable.

Negatives: A-lister Cruise may have you fighting the notion that anything bad is really going to happen, some fridge logic may apply.

Grade: B+

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