“Come find me when you wake up!”
Human race is under a threat of alien invasion from the Mimics. Lt. Col. Bill Cage (Tom Cruise) is an Army spokesman and US Army Reserves officer who has never seen a day of combat when he is unceremoniously demoted and then dropped into combat. Cage is killed within minutes, although he did manage to (accidentaly) take an alpha alien down with him. But he awakens back at the beginning of the same day and is forced to fight and die again… and again…and again – as physical contact with the alien has thrown him into a time loop.
Just like an RPG game with reset button, Edge of Tomorrow main premise is the time-loop that Cage must endure, reliving the same day over and over again, which the tagline manage to concisely summarize: Live. Die. Repeat. I never saw the trailer for this one before, but i saw the posters and it’s been in my to-watch list just because a) its a Cruise movie, and b) Emily Blunt looks totally bad ass! So i was not aware of its premise, i was annoyed when Cage died about 20 minutes into the film. However, i had so much fun watching the film, which ticks all the box of a great blockbuster film: a simplistic plot, kick-ass action sequence, destroying (one or more) earth’s landmark(s), personal journey of a hero (plus heroine), that lightness to balance out the film.
Edge of Tomorrow does not pretend to be something its not. Instead of going to the tedious scientific explanation or focusing too much on the characters’ personal angst, it explored the time-loop aspect with lightheartedness and injected it with bucket loads of humour. Liman chooses to create a film that is fun and does not pretend to be something it’s not. It counters the loud action scenes that can be overwhelming, finding that perfect balance in the middle, letting the film gains momentum and paced into a darker territory before it finally reaches its conclusion. I am pleasantly surprised that i enjoyed the repeats and did not find it boring despite its repetitiveness. I like the industrial looking exoskeleton battle armor as well as the battle scenes and tech that felt near future, instead of appearing far too polished and futuristic. I wished for a darker finale instead of the generic one we got instead. But maybe it does not go with the feel of ease that the film deliver from the beginning.
Tom Cruise films does not always get positive response from critics and fans, his performance was strong but never really groundbreaking in the last decade or so. But that dude is a movie star. And it is proven from the charisma that he carries throughout the film. His character begin as the unlikely, cowardly lead, only to developed much, much later into an unlikely heroes that learned his life purpose. Well, maybe time-looping and being killed repeatedly finally does that to you. Emily Blunt is showing her bad-assery as the Full Metal Bitch, showing great potential as a lead heroine that is capable in doing believable physical actions. I am expecting her to be cast in more physical roles after this one (MARVEL always needs more villains or heroes right?).
If you went to the film expecting something extremely new or heavy, dark plot you might be sorely disappointed. But believe me, despite its generic plot, it is still freshly entertaining, well made, and well cast. I definitely would not mind a repeat :)
EDGE OF TOMORROW (2014)
GENRE Science Fiction, Action
DIRECTOR Doug Liman | PRODUCER Erwin Stoff, Tom Lassally, Jeffrey Silver, Gregory Jacobs | WRITER Christopher McQuarrie, Jez Butterworth, John-Henry Butterworth | CINEMATOGRAPHER Dion Beebe | MUSIC Christopher Beck | EDITOR James Herbert, Laura Jennings | STUDIO Warner Bros. Pictures | DISTRIBUTOR Warner Bros. Pictures | COUNTRY United States | RUNNING TIME 113 minutes | BUDGET $178 Million | RATING PG-13 for intense sequences of sci-fi action and violence, language and brief suggestive material | RELEASE June 6, 2013 (US)
STARRING Tom Cruise, Emily Blunt, Bill Paxton, Brendan Gleeson
DID YOU KNOW? The film is based on a japanese novella called All You Need is Kill (オール・ユー・ニード・イズ・キル) by Hiroshi Sakurazaka. The tag line of the manga is ‘Die in Battle, Reborn in Victory’. The novel is illustrated by Yoshitoshi Abe (who created Serial Experiment Lain, my personal favorite) who also responsible for the character design for the manga. The japanese manga adaptation of the novella is illustrated by Takeshi Obata (Death Note), storyboard by Ryōsuke Takeuchi.
In the original book, they’re invading Tokyo (instead of London), Rita is American, and Cage is a Japanese man named Keiji Kiriya (キリヤ・ケイジ), nicknamed “Killer Cage” by the end because the Americans pronounce his name “Cage”.