If you can put aside your opinion of Tom Cruise’s eccentric exploits, you might just realize he is still a talented actor and an equally impressive action star. Even at the age of 51 he still manages to execute his own stunts with impressive efficiency, and with Edge of Tomorrow he truly sticks the landing. I feared this would be an Oblivion carbon copy, but it magically it turned out to be a highly original, action packed, well written and in-depth blockbuster. A summer movie designed to sell tickets with an actual brain?! No way! This is one of the best sci-fi films in years and a damn good action film. This is the perfect example of a film with low expectations being something far greater than believed possible. I never thought this would be something other than a throw away actioner that would allow escape from the summer heat for a couple of hours. This is intelligent filmmaking made for the masses, it really is impressive.
The characters are vivid and fleshed out and as a result of this, they matter. Their fates are important to the conclusion of the story and whether it works well or not. The most notable character is Cruise’s, who starts out the film in territory we are unfamiliar seeing him in. He isn’t a hardened, well-oiled killing machine like he normally portrays in his films. He is a pansy, a fake smile-for-the-cameras coward who has never seen a moment of battle in his life. It is his sudden jettison onto an ambushed beach with real soldiers facing an enemy like no other that begins his arc. His rather brief time on this beach changes everything about him and what he deems worthwhile. A life altering moment occurs and his purpose in this war is revealed. From beginning to end he goes from coward to savior of the human race. His character of course couldn’t do all this without the help of a well-known soldier played excellently by Emily Blunt who kicks some serious ass in this film. With her assistance his character goes through a transformation that makes this a wonderfully thought out movie that most definitely works well.
Cage (Cruise) is a soldier with a smile, a smile that has never seen combat. He steps in front of a camera and persuades millions to volunteer for combat duty to battle an alien enemy of unknown origins. Suddenly and without warning he is forced into active duty as a massive invasion begins to annihilate the enemy once and for all. In his very first excursion it becomes apparent that he, along with every human, were ill prepared for what they were about to face. It is a massacre… everyone dies within five minutes of landing. However in those quick moments Cage has an encounter that changes his very existence. He died but suddenly he is back at the FOB being forced into a situation he already experienced. In an action packed homage to Groundhog Day, he relives this battle repeatedly. Through his re-experiencing of this day, he discovers another human with this ability; her name is Rita (Blunt). With her guidance he becomes a highly efficient soldier with the ability to not only win the battle but the war along with it. His aptitude to hone this power and focus it will be the difference between their eradication and ours. The fate of all is in their hands.
An obvious worry here would be repetitiveness; he relives the same day over and over and over again. With such a smartly executed script this never becomes redundant or overplayed. It is never unoriginal and the film truly shines because of this. Something else that really plays well is the humor throughout the story. It is very enjoyable and most importantly it always feels organic and never forced. It is also through the comedic moments that the redundancy is kept at bay the entire time. This is certainly one of the most pleasant cinema surprises in recent memory. I didn’t think I would hate it but any more than a fun time, I never saw that coming. I loved this movie and I think, if people give it a chance, they will too. An intelligent action film, you surely have to appreciate the effort.
Rated PG-13 For: intense sequences of sci-fi action and violence, language and brief suggestive material
Run Time: 113 minutes
After Credits Scene: None
Starring: Tom Cruise, Emily Blunt, Bill Paxton, Brendan Gleeson
Directed By: Doug Liman
Out of 5 Nerdskulls
Story: 5/ Acting: 4.5/ Directing: 4.5/ Visuals: 5
OVERALL: 4.5 Nerdskulls
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