A series of film reviews and opinion pieces from a film student and all round movie lover! Happy reading!
As 90% of films set in the future insinuate, we as a human race are set to meet our doom within the century at the hands (or claws, pincers and tentacles) of invading extra-terrestrial beings that overpower our vulnerable planet. “Edge Of Tomorrow”, starring Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt displays this prediction, in thorough, repetitious and surprisingly entertaining fashion.
We all know Tom Cruise plays the archetypical action hero; courageous, regal and noble. He is a man that is renowned for his incredible commitment levels with stunt work, and has made a name for himself with high-end actions such as “Top Gun”, “Mission: Impossible” and “Oblivion” to name a few. But what if he was to play the coward?
Set in the future, “Edge Of Tomorrow” takes place at a time where humanity is threatened with extinction, during a vicious battle with menacing alien creatures.
Cage (Cruise), a US army officer is confused as a soldier and is put on the front line to fight and try to save the human race. Cage is placed in a mechanical combat suit that is not too dissimilar to the suit of “Spiderman’s” Rhino or “Avatar’s” mecha-uniforms, fully equipped with weaponry and advanced technological features.
During battle, Cage becomes infected with some alien DNA and after meeting his demise, finds himself waking up earlier that day. With the alien cells coursing through his veins, Cage has the ability/curse of being able to relive his life from the exact same place and time, every time he dies.
Cage soon learns that it is his quest to gather clues, work out varied series of events and develop a routine to help him work out firstly what is going on, and secondly, how to defeat the invading enemy.
Cage’s initial cowardice is a surprising feature. He despises and fears blood and is generally against the physical side of war in general. Mixing conventions such as this is just one of the many features that work incredibly well in the film.
Dealing with typical notions of the underdog, the unlikely hero, relapse, rebirth, war, the future, guns, mecha-suits and Tom Cruise, “Edge Of Tomorrow” looked highly generic from the trailers, and to an extent it was. However the bold decisions to be unconventional and different paid off superbly.
For example, the strongest character in the film is Emily Blunt’s Rita; a Tarantino-esque, dominating female warrior that is fearless, valiant and courageous.
The strong female lead in an action film is something that isn’t seen enough in Hollywood comparatively to men over the years, and it’s refreshing to see the female hero achieved so effortlessly, without force and strikingly. To put it “Blunt-ly”, Rita kicks some alien butt!
The character ark for Cage is extremely large and well exhibited. With a strong feel of “Groundhog Day” about it, the growth of Cage is assisted greatly through the repetitive nature of his journey. We travel along with him and remember past experiences just as he does.
What is so impressive with the frantic, repetitive sequence of Cage dying, re-awakening and so on, is how meticulously and flawlessly edited it is. The stylised nature, the cleverness and engagement factor all come to play within the film overall, but specifically during this particular sequence in the first act.
With a strong sense of urgency and non-stop action, “Edge Of Tomorrow” is on from the first frame. The music is powerful and impressive, the editing is admirable and the unconventional narrative choices at points are peasant to see. Overall, “Edge Of Tomorrow” is a surprise package. For any science fiction enthusiasts, this will be one of the best films you’ll see in the past 10 years, but for the rest of us, it’s simply a highly engaging, action packed epic.