This movie got a little lost in the shuffle of summertime big blockbusters so it will likely not get the high numbers that films like Godzilla and X-Men: Days of Future Past got. But should it? Is Tom Cruise’s latest sci-fi flick one you need to check out?
The gist is that, in the near future, an alien race called Mimics drop onto Earth and are actively destroying city by city. Cruise stars as Major William Cage, an officer in the US military that is about to be sent into battle to show that the people should have faith in these efforts. He’s not a soldier though so as soon as he’s dropped, he is killed by one of these Mimics, though the Mimic splatters blood all over him. Cage wakes up that morning and realizes he’s reliving the same day. Something about the alien blood allows him to reset the day, everytime he dies. No one believes him except for the war hero Rita Vrataski (Emily Blunt), who also had this same affliction for a time. Can Cage use this time to become a skilled soldier and somehow save the world?
Tom Cruise is still such a movie star, in a way we don’t see much anymore. He does all his own stunt work (as does Blunt) but doesn’t sacrifice the quality of acting. Here, we meet Cruise’s Major Cage when he’s a coward and it’s a fresh face for Cruise, though he eventually becomes the badass action hero we’d expect. Emily Blunt also does an incredible job and I praise the filmmakers for not trying to force on us that she is a skilled warrior but instead they let her actions do it. It’s also never brought up that she’s a woman, which was a nice touch as well, as there should be nothing shocking about that.
The movie relies on the concept of resetting the day, in a fashion similar to Groundhog Day. The story of aliens attacking Earth isn’t new, but this concept gave the movie a fresh makeover. Other critics have said this, and I completely agree, but the movie feels like a videogame. You try one technique and it doesn’t work, so you reset. Each time you get closer and closer and you learn where enemies are and it’s exhilarating to watch Cruise manipulate this ability and attempt to stop this alien threat. The concept works completely.
I was also really intrigued by the alien Mimics. From a design aspect, they’re pretty original (the closest thing maybe being the sentinels from The Matrix) and were fascinating to watch.
What didn’t work?
There was an ending I was prepared for but we didn’t get that, so it ended on kind of a strange note. The climax was also rather cliche though the action and effects in this climax was amazing, though it falls in line with more traditional “save the Earth from aliens” films. The movie was pretty unique and original up until that point, so the ending felt a little out of place.
You will enjoy Edge of Tomorrow. It’s surprisingly funny, has some incredible action sequences, and provides an alien action story in a new concept with the element of “resetting.” There’s very little to dislike and it’s a shame that this movie hasn’t gotten the media attention that (I think) it deserves. It’s unique in a way that very few big blockbuster films are these days, so we should be encouraging studios to take more risks like this. Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt both put on incredible performances, so I’d definitely recommend hitting this up in theaters, as the spectacle will be most appreciated on the big screen.