Sci-Fi thriller fans, hi-tech action-packed thriller fans, balls-to-the-wall fight-to-the-death fans, Tom Cruise fans, Emily Blunt fans, and the rest of the movie-going public, with very few exceptions, ought to head out this weekend and catch Edge of Tomorrow, in theatres June 6, because it’s got all those things going for it and a really catchy plot to boot.
The setting is sometime in a possibly very near future, given the latitude of science fiction and the all too realistic weaponry employed in some fiery and rather fabulous battle scenes. An alien force lands on Earth with the intention of destroying its citizens and taking over the planet. No Earthly military force can stop them and things look pretty bleak for the defenders, who are blown to smithereens right and left – but with outstanding cinematography and surprising realism.
However that’s not the film’s most impressive offering, not by a long shot. For Tom Cruise it’s an opportunity to prove that he can take on aliens as well as the next guy; his role as Major William Cage gives him plenty of scope for all his undeniable acting skills, not to mention his undeniable sex appeal. Major Cage first appears as an officer who’s always been non-combatant – he’s not a warrior and never wanted to be one; most of his ‘military experience’ has been as a talking head for CNN.
In a sudden, and mostly unexplained plot-wise, move by his superiors, Cage is thrown into a fearsome battle situation for which he has no experience, and is promptly killed. Yes, but this is the interesting premise: he has somehow been zapped with the ability to re-live the day, which of course takes him a while to get used to. In He has to re-live that battle again, and again, and again . . . until a seasoned warrior from Special Forces named Rita Vrataski takes him in hand to teach him how to survive – and win.
The battle-hardened though unflappably gorgeous Rita is played with great style and enthusiasm by Emily Blunt, who told interviewers that the role was great fun and gave Cruise a large thumbs up for his performance opposite hers, with the usual roles reversed as she gets to be the pro to Cruise’s novice. In the apocalyptic battle that takes place over and over again, Major Cage learns from Vrataski – and from first hand experience – how to use his battle gear and how to be a warrior.
In amongst all the mayhem, however, there are the appealing characters of Cage and Vrataski as people, there is a fair dose of humor that’s never overdone or out of character, and in general the dialogue is a large cut above your average alien invasion explosion-packed sci-fi type movie. Directed with admirable skill by Doug Liman, assisted by some top-notch script writers and carried with ease by its stars, Edge of Tomorrow is well worth the ticket.
If you’re looking for hidden subplots and nuances, or underlying political or environmental messages, you won’t find them. The aliens are just plain nasty, for no reason that anyone can figure out – and no one bothers to try. They have absolutely no redeeming qualities, but that works just fine for this film, since the human characters and the movie itself have plenty to go around.