Edge of Tomorrow

PLOT (spoiler alert!!!):

A race of aliens called Mimics has taken over continental Europe. General Brigham, head of humanity’s United Defense Force, orders Major William Cage, a public affairs officer and former advertising executive, to cover combat on the beaches of France during the next day’s assault on the Mimics. Cage objects to the dangerous assignment and threatens to use his public relations skills to turn the public against Brigham when the casualties start increasing from the invasion. General Brigham has Cage arrested; Cage is knocked out during an ensuing escape attempt. He wakes in handcuffs at a forward operating base at Heathrow Airport and discovers he has been labeled a deserter and put on combat duty for the invasion under the command of Master Sergeant Farell.

The invasion is a disaster for the humans. Cage manages to kill a large Mimic but dies as he is sprayed with its acid-like blood. He then wakes up at Heathrow the previous morning. No one believes his story that he knows the invasion will fail. He repeats the loop of dying on the beach and waking at Heathrow until he encounters Sergeant Rita Vrataski (Emily Blunt). She recognizes his ability to anticipate events and tells him to locate her the next time he “wakes up”.

Together, Cage and Vrataski meet up with Dr. Carter, a former government scientist and expert in Mimic biology. Cage learns that the kind of Mimic he killed in his first loop, an “Alpha”, resets time when it is killed to give the Mimics an advantage in battle. Cage inherited this ability when he was doused in the Alpha’s blood as they both died. Vrataski had gained this ability in a recent battle but lost it after receiving a blood transfusion. She tells Cage that they must hunt the Mimics’ hive mind, the Omega.

Over innumerable successive time loops, Vrataski molds Cage into a far more effective soldier. Frustrated by his continued failures, though, he retreats to a London pub, only to discover the Mimics will overrun the city after their invasion on the beach. He and Vrataski then spend several loops learning how to survive the battle on the beach and get inland based on his vision of the Omega hiding within a Bavarian Alps dam. After numerous loops end in Vrataski’s death, Cage decides to hunt the Omega alone, abandoning her and the rest of the invasion to doom on the beach. When he arrives at the dam, he discovers that the Omega is not there. He manages to kill himself before an Alpha can steal his blood and prevent him from resetting the day. Back at Heathrow, he tells Vrataski and Carter that his vision was a trick.

Cage and Vrataski adopt a new approach: they infiltrate the Ministry of Defence in search of a prototype built by Carter that will allow Cage to discover the Omega’s true location. After several failed loops they obtain the device, which reveals that the Omega is located under the Louvre Pyramid in Paris. They are injured as they flee; Cage is saved by a blood transfusion, but it removes his ability to reset the day.

Vrataski frees Cage and they return to Heathrow, where they convince his squad to help destroy the Omega. The other squad members sacrifice themselves to get Cage and Vrataski beneath the Louvre. Vrataski distracts a waiting Alpha while Cage advances on the Omega. The Alpha kills Vrataski and mortally wounds Cage, but not before Cage primes and drops a grenade belt into the Omega’s core, destroying it, which neutralizes all other Mimics.

Cage’s dying body floats down into a rising cloud of the Omega’s blood. Regaining the power to reset himself, Cage wakes up en route to his meeting with Brigham the day before. Brigham announces that Mimic activity has ceased following a power surge in Paris. With the events leading to his arrest never happening, Cage travels to Heathrow on his own, retaining his original officer rank. None of his former squad mates recognize him. He finds Vrataski, who greets him with the same initial rudeness as previous loops, causing Cage to smile.

REVIEW:

Tom Cruise is back and this time he has a mech suit! That’s right, people, the insane scientologist dares to make use believe he is still a bona fide action star. Following his string of successful action flick, this is a perfect choice, right? Well, let’s see.

What is this about?

As Earth fights an alien invasion, Lt. Col. Bill Cage is killed in action, and a time loop forces him to continually relive his last day. With each iteration, Cage’s skill grows, as does his understanding of the enemy and how it operates.

What did I like?

Pacing. In most pictures like this, we get an action scene early on, then it is just uninteresting subplot, exposition, and forced love story to pad out the running time until the climactic 2nd action scene, which is shortly followed by the end credits. This director obviously took notes on that formula, because the pacing in this film is very fast paced. Just as it starts to slow down… *BAM!* We are back in the thick of things. For someone who has to be in the mood for slow paced films, this has to be a plus!

Blunt object. Emily Blunt gives me strange feelings. That sounded weird, I better explain. No doubt she’s a great actress and, while not bad looking (looks like she got ripped for this role), there is something about that vacant stare of hers that puts me off. That being said, she kicks ass in this film, and she’s not even in the film that much!

Groundhog. Everyone has seen, or at least knows about the movie Groundhog Day. In some respects, this film is very similar in that the main character keeps repeating the same day over and over again, just under different circumstances. It is nice to see a new spin on this tired cliché, I must say.

What didn’t I like?

Creatures. Normally, I’m all for seeing creatures in sci-fi films. It fascinates me to see the magic and madness that can come from someone’s mind. With that said, I don’t see the originality. The “Mimics” as they are called are very similar to the creatures in The Matrix: Revolutions. Of all the films to rip off from, why that one?!? Surely, there had to be something better that could be used as an evil creature in this film, right?

Mech. I have never really been a fan of mech suits. In concept and animation they work just fine, but when it comes to execution, the things are just slow and clunky. Basically, you’re sacrificing speed and agility for firepower. Is it worth it? Only for some, but does you entire fighting force need them? No!

Training Day. I’m not sure how many times we were going to have see Tom Cruise go through that training montage. Wasn’t once or twice enough? I just didn’t get the need to keep showing the same thing over and over again. The whole point of him going back was to learn and change things the next time. It was just frustrating that they went the lazy route of cut and paste, I suppose.

Final verdict on Edge of Tomorrow? It’s a big budget, sci-fi action flick that plays it safe. It doesn’t try to give the audience too many subplots, nor does it insult our intelligence. The creatures, which are obviously CG, have an almost practical effect to them. No love story is forced down our throats. As a matter of fact, it is barely hinted, save for a couple of places. So, do I recommend this flick? Eh, it isn’t great, but you could do a whole lot worse. Give it a go, I suppose!

3 1/2 out of 5 stars

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