Monday, June 9, 2014

EDGE OF TOMORROW resets the end game


RUN TIME- 113 Mins
WRITER(S)- Christopher, McQuarrie, Jez Butterworth, and John-Henry Butterworth
STARRING- Tom Cruise, Emily Blunt, and Bill Paxton
DIRECTOR(S)- Doug Liman 

Synopsis taken from IMDb
An officer finds himself caught in a time loop in a war with an alien race. His kills increase as he faces the same brutal combat scenarios, and his union with a Special Forces warrior gets him closer and closer to defeating the enemy.  

Tom Cruise (Mission: Impossible) is an unlikely hero in this sci-fi action thriller. Honestly, I tend to avoid watching Cruise's films for the most part, but this and the Mission:Impossible movies are exceptions. Even though I'm not a fan of Cruise, I can't deny he's in some good features. Edge of Tomorrow picks up informing us of a war that's been waging for five years now against an alien race called Mimics. And we see the human's fighting gear, which like the world, is upgraded and very futuristic, unlike anything you'll see soldiers wearing right now. The gear looks like a combination of the uniforms worn by the Marines in Aliens (1986), with some Elysium (2013), and Iron Man (2008) mixed in.

Cage (Cruise) is a spokesperson for United Defense Forces (UDF), who developed the exoskeleton armor for soldiers now used in the interspecies war. Cage is not trained in combat, nor does he even like the sight of blood. But odds are against him as he's strong-armed into battle. Master Sergeant Farrell (Bill Paxton)  insists on not cutting Cage any breaks, as do the rest of the soldiers he's fighting with. Unlike in present time, there is no 'leave no man behind' motto. Instead it's every man for himself, as your own team will steal your weaponry and throw you to the wolves.

After dying several times and returning to life, Cage not only improves his combat skills (and learns how to turn the safety off), but he searches for answers as to how and why this is happening to him. He tries to reason with his fellow warmongers, and explain to them that their landing on the island is an expected attack by the alien race, and he along with all of them gets wiped out. He lives it over and over. But to no avail, because not only does no one believe him, they even resort to duct taping his mouth shut so he'll stop talking. Leaving Cage with no other option, he becomes an even better fighter.

Then, Cage finds Rita (Emily Blunt) who tells him to meet her when he wakes up after dying. When he does, she explains that she used to have his ability to "reset" and come back to life, but doesn't anymore. She was injured, and while in the hospital, had a blood transfusion, causing her to lose her ability. We come to learn that Cage being drenched in the blood of an "Alpha" (a particularly nasty type of Mimic) is what gave him his ability to repeat time. Time looping is a defense skill the "Alphas" have in order to predict their enemies movements in war, allowing them to be one step ahead. Cage can now use their knowledge and technology against them.

Rita explains how dire it is that he hold on to his skill because it allows the humans to form a game plan against the alien race. Cage is also warned that if he gets injured, he should be sure to just die, so he can "reset". Getting injured may resort in him being hospitalized and losing his capacity to "reset".

The plans description involves Cage dying over and over again, until every detail is roughed out, and they can win the battle with as much ease as possible. It's just like a video game, where you play the same level over and over until you memorize every little detail and eventually beat the level with flying colors. Cage's mission is to find the "Omega", a singular consciousness that all of the Mimics are tied to, along with Rita. It has the ability to control time, and then destroy it. But of course nothing goes as smoothly as planned. Things get a bit hairy as they have to complete their battle plan with successful results, and only have one more chance to do so.

Aside from the eye candy that Emily Blunt provides, she and Cruise carry this motion picture with ease, and appear very comfortable with each other on screen, allowing good character chemistry and flow. I don't have a complaint about anyone's performance, actually. But, I didn't think Cruise would be as likable as he is, you can totally get behind him. And there's some wicked actions scenes, and the special FX are very well crafted and beautiful to look at.

If I had to sum this flick up, I'd say that it took the better parts of Terminator Salvation (2009) and Transformers (2007), and made them more explosive, idealistic, and entertaining. The ending is good, and although the film as a whole has a dark plot, there's some good humor that's intentional, but not over the top to cause any cheesiness. It's funny because, I didn't even want to watch this at first. It took several times of seeing the trailer before I was convinced. And I was wrong, because in the end, Edge of Tomorrow is a winner.

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