EDGE OF TOMORROW
Author: J.A. Hyde
June 6, 2014

SYNOPSIS: The epic action of "Edge of Tomorrow" unfolds in a near future in which an alien race has hit the Earth in an unrelenting assault, unbeatable by any military unit in the world. Major William Cage (Tom Cruise) is an officer who has never seen a day of combat when he is unceremoniously dropped into what amounts to a suicide mission. Killed within minutes, Cage now finds himself inexplicably thrown into a time loop-forcing him to live out the same brutal combat over and over, fighting and dying again...and again. But with each battle, Cage becomes able to engage the adversaries with increasing skill, alongside Special Forces warrior Rita Vrataski (Emily Blunt). And, as Cage and Rita take the fight to the aliens, each repeated encounter gets them one step closer to defeating the enemy. - Warner Bros. Pictures

Edge of Tomorrow’s story line sometimes pushes to the edge of reason, but when it grabs you, it’ll push you to the edge of your seat. I do recommend that you see it in IMAX format – it’s definitely worth it. The stunts, special effects, and the costumes astonish and amaze! The trailers for the film have already alerted audiences that the main character re-lives the same day over and over, with some even comparing it to the 1993 film Groundhog Day. Believe me, the time loop – called “resets” in the film – is the only similarity. The how and why of the time loop may strain credibility a bit, but, after all, this is science fiction.

Earth has been invaded by an extraterrestrial race called Mimics because they seem to be able to predict and thwart the defending troops’ every move, and therefore seem unbeatable. The battles have been raging all over Europe, but Earth’s combined armies have finally met with some success. The Army’s “PR” man is sent to record and narrate what leaders believe will be a final victory. The “PR” man is Major Bill Cage (Tom Cruise), a college ROTC graduate who became an advertising executive before the war. He’s never been combat-trained or even seen a skirmish. Cruise must have had some fun playing this character who’s a total wimp in the beginning. Eventually, all that will change.

Along the way, Cage meets Rita Vrataski (Emily Blunt), the “Angel of Verdun.” She’s the most decorated soldier of the campaign and has been nicknamed “Full Metal Bitch.” Her incredible performance in the recent Verdun battle is the basis for the final assault, planned for the next day. The next 24 hours are the ones Cage lives over and over via the resets.

The review continues after the jump!

Rita trains Cage during his many resets and he becomes a hardened warrior like herself. Cage’s evolution from wimp to warrior is the most interesting sub-plot by far, and Cruise does a masterful job with it. Emily Blunt is a formidable presence on screen, and despite her diminutive size, she is completely convincing as the special-forces super soldier.

I have only a few beefs with this film. It can, at times, be a bit confusing to follow all the “resets”. The ending of the film does not live up to the rest of it. It should have – and could have – been strengthened so that the audience doesn’t feel let-down. My last complaint is a purely personal one. Why must we always have extraterrestrial aliens that growl? I mean, here we have an alien race, from some distant civilization, who obviously have the intelligence and wherewithal to get to Earth and try to take it, and they growl at us? Seriously?! The aliens’ appearances are well done, so couldn’t the powers that be come up something besides growling for communication?

That being said, Edge of Tomorrow transitions seamlessly from brash and brutal, to humorous, to haunting, and back again – somewhat like Cage’s character in his time loop. The film is well worth a trip to your local multiplex. - JoAnne Hyde

GRADE: B+


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