Tom Cruise is back for yet another action film. This time he plays a soldier who relives the same day over and over again, dying at the end of each day and reborn the next. While the movie is basically your run-of-the-mill summer action blockbuster, its innovative script and premise keep it from becoming just another action flick that gets lost in the fray.
Originally called All You Need Is Kill, Edge of Tomorrow starts off rather confusingly. Tom Cruises’ character, William Cage, is a major in an army where he has not seen a lot of action. The “Mimics,” an alien race that does not appear to have any motives other than conquest, have taken over France and Germany, and they are fast approaching Britain, where we find our hero. His cowardice in not wanting to fight the war leads to him trying to blackmail his general, played by Brendan Gleeson, into keeping him behind the lines, but it inevitably puts him into the thick of things. After he dies fighting off a special “Mimic,” he is given the ability to relive that day over and over, which comes with both positive and negative results. From this point onwards he finds that another person, Rita, played by Emily Blunt, once had this ability. They team up in order to put an end to the the alien invasion.
The first 20 minutes or so of the movie do not make much sense. There does not appear to be any sort of urgency considering the fact that Germany and France are both completely annihilated. Cage’s actions also seem rather unnecessary, but the plot choices ultimately end up making more sense than they first do.
Other than Cruise, Blunt, and Gleeson, we do not get too involved with many of the character’s lives. There is not a whole lot of development in the supporting cast, so by the end of the film we do not feel as though the losses carry any weight with them. The action is exciting with the exoskeletons, creating a new type of action hero. From swords, to missiles, to machine guns, these suits can do anything.
The script is the strongest part of this film. It saves the film from being just a generic action film. It isn’t completely mind-bending, but it is smart enough to create a chuckle here and there, while also making you think enough without being completely on the nose. Several times throughout the film a brief line is dropped that actually makes you think about how many times Cage has relived the same day.
Blunt and Cruise have decent chemistry, but I appreciate how little the plot gives to their romance. We get hints that there is more emotion there, but it never detracts from the plot other than the fact that he cares about her. It does not give itself up to the tropes of many action movies where there needs to be romance and sex in order for it to be entertaining. Just teasing the idea works well enough in Edge of Tomorrow.
So, in the end, Edge of Tomorrow is, for the most part, your average action movie. What saves it is its creative script that fuses time-travel with solid action, and enough brain twisters to stimulate the brain without making you have to calculate all the minute details. The only downsides are the lack of supporting-character development and the fact that the world outside the military does not seem too concerned that two major countries in the world have been utterly decimated. That shouldn’t be too much to deter you from seeing a fun action movie, should it? Go check Edge of Tomorrow out.