The Syfy way – What is it about science-fiction that creates the multitude of opinions? Is it because it’s all speculative and too far “out there” to understand? Or is it because franchises like “Star Trek” and “Star Wars” are too good to compete with? I fall somewhere in the middle mostly because I haven’t watched a whole lot of sci-fi over the years, which puts me in a unique group that can go watch something like “Edge of Tomorrow” with zero expectations or preconceived notions. That’s key, as taking a film like this too seriously can ruin any chance at enjoying it for exactly what it is and isn’t.
What’s it about? From what I could gather, this film primarily is focused on the fight for humanity after years of war with a species known as Mimics. These Mimics are powerful and extremely unorthodox making it nearly impossible to defeat. So, with nothing to lose, NATO militaries converged to create Jackets, an exoskeleton made specifically for taking down Mimics. Only problem is, they needed a lot of them and someone to lead the charge. That someone was Major William Cage (Tom Cruise), a UDF (United Defense Forces) spokesman with zero military training. I guess he was the best option at the time, but when Cage denies the General’s request and attempts to bribe him, he is arrested.
Next thing he knows, he is stripped of his rank and put with the first wave to deploy. But, when he gets dropped into battle the next day, he quickly realizes the Mimics knew they were coming, yet somehow manages to kill an extraordinarily large Mimic before dying himself. Then Cage wakes up the prior morning back at the base where he was first sent, apparently caught in a time loop that would send him through the same events he just experienced each time he dies. Over and over, he does this until one loop when he saves another soldier named Rita (Emily Blunt), who turns out to possess the same ability to reset the day. The two conspire in hopes of defeating the Mimics, but doing so proved to be tougher than they thought, leading to thrilling conclusion full of intrigue.
Who is in it? Even at the age of 51, Tom Cruise is a big deal. He’s been a big deal since 1986 when he broke onto the scene as “Maverick” in “Top Gun.” And whether you like him or hate him, I guarantee you probably have seen most of the films he has starred in. It’s hard to say that about any one actor, but you can say it with Cruise, which still means something to me. Yes, I’m a tad bit bias when it comes to Cruise, but it’s hard not to be when the guy gives so much to each and every film he is in. And it was no different here, where he once again performed all the stunts himself. That may not seem like much to some, but given how much of an action-junkie this guy is, to still be doing all this in his films is remarkable. Especially when you are inside a battle suit that weighed around 85 pounds, like he was here. That’s insane, so to think Emily Blunt was in the same suit is impressive, given her size and stature. But, they both did well with it given all the moving parts around them or attached to them. That’s key to believing what they were doing, which you very much did within the well-drafted script based on the Japanese light novel All You Need Is Kill by Hiroshi Sakurazaka.
Sharper edge – I think with any sci-fi flick, you have to be able to make an unrealistic environment look realistic. By doing this, allows the audience to dive in and be a part of the story which clearly was the case here. That’s to the credit of director Doug Liman, who managed to take this script, which went thru the hands of three different screenwriters, and made it all work. This whole idea where the story starts over and over was a nice touch in my mind, given how it parallels pretty much every first-person video game out there. I think that helped the film feel lighter at times, especially with the comedy layered in each time Cruise’s character reset. That was big considering how this story eventually plays out given all that is in it. And there was a lot in this film, but to Liman’s credit, he made sure you were never overwhelmed with any one thing. That includes the Mimic’s, which I’ll be honest were very well manufactured. I think any fan of this genre will tell you the quickest way to lose interest is with a poorly crafted extraterrestrial life form. But, that was not the case here as I was taken back on how well these Mimic’s moved and acted. And you know what, that’s all I would ask for in a film that has so many things going on.
Bottom Line – There’s no doubt “Edge of Tomorrow” had its flaws, but for the genre and type of film it was, I thoroughly enjoyed every second of it. Because the truth is, sometimes you just have to realize the kind of movie you are watching and just go with it.
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