Release date: June 6, 2014
Running time: 113 minutes
Starring: Tom Cruise, Emily Blunt, Bill Paxton, Brendan Gleeson
Who to see it with: A fan of sci-fi films or video games
Edge of Tomorrow follows an unlikely soldier who gets the ability to restart his day whenever he makes a mistook.... Edge of Tomorrow follows an unlikely soldier with the ability to restart his day whenever he makes a mistake. It's a premise that is instantly familiar to anyone who has seen Groundhog Day; in fact, I imagine the pitch for this film was "It's Groundhog Day, with guns." And you know what, that's a pretty great premise to start from. PR manager turned soldier Cage (Cruise) is thrown into the battlefield and then discovers that every time that he dies, he goes back to the previous day. As he slowly tries to figure out why this is happening, he also begins to learn the battle and be able to avoid pitfalls that had previously caused him to restart his day.
It's a great premise and made all the more enjoyable by Cruise's performance. His character is not likable at first, and he plays it to perfection. As he experiences the same day over and over, he slowly learns from his experiences and changes in important ways. In fact, it's another similar premise to Groundhog Day, but instead of Cruise becoming a lovable town hero, he becomes a super soldier. Blunt plays another badass soldier who believes Cage's crazy story tries to train him to fully utilize his gift. The surprise performance is by Bill Paxton, who plays the field commander / drill sergeant to perfection. His performance is so enjoyable that you see the same sequence over and over again but still are surprised by what happens. And I guess that's the best part of this movie; that you can see the same basic sequence of events for two hours and still enjoy the surprises that come from it.
The effects of the film are top notch, however I could have used a better antagonist. The enemies of the film are designed to be scary, and successfully at that, but do look a little too ridiculous. But, that being said, the movie feels a lot like a video game, with many similar themes. The "rebooting" mechanic is the most noticeable, but also the unrealistic enemy and dire situation just scream triple-A game. And I loved it! As games have become more cinematic in their presentation and mechanics, it's only natural that those two areas begin to bleed over. And, like many video games, the ending of the film is ambiguous. Some people may not like this, but I enjoyed having a conversation with someone right after about our different, legitimate, conclusions. Edge of Tomorrow is another very good Tom Cruise sci-fi film (following last year's Oblivion) that you should make sure to see.