Movie Review: Edge of Tomorrow
From the director of The Bourne Identity, comes Tom Cruise's newest sci-fi flick, Edge of Tomorrow. Centered around one soldier's struggle to prevent an alien invasion in London, Major Bill Cage (Cruise) must use his new-found ability to reset the day of a massive attack, in order to save humanity from inhalation. With the help of a high-ranking, highly skilled soldier, Rita (Emily Blunt), Cage must live, die, and repeat the day until he learns the truth behind the massive invasion. Mixing elements of comedy, sci-fi action, and thrilling intrigue, Edge of Tomorrow keeps you on the edge of your seat, while continually making you laugh with its clever comedy.
Right when I saw the previews for this film, I knew I had to see it. With Tom Cruise on-board, and elements of futuristic warzones and robotic mechsuits galore, I knew I'd enjoy this one, even if the story was bad. However, with the film being based off a popular Japanese novel titled All You Need Is Kill, I had a feeling that the film would be well-received by fans of the novel, and also the 2014 graphic novel. Me being both a graphic novel and video game lover, this film did an amazing job at making the audience feel like you were in a video game yourself, respawning at the checkpoint everytime you die. With a clever, yet somewhat confusing, time loop concept, the film does a great job at bringing together a good story, and delivered one of the best science fiction films I've seen in a while.
Probably my favorite film genre has to be science fiction. From soaring spaceships and menacing aliens to high-tech toys and time travel, sci-fi has astonished millions of movie-goers with its amazing spectacles and evolving ideas of what the future of science may bring to the world some day. Being a major fan of sci-fi classics ranging from Star Wars to the Terminator films, I've always enjoyed seeing what visual directors can bring to the big-screen. Nowadays, science fiction on-screen continues to expand and evolve from what it was back in the days of the classics. With talking apes, time looping killers, alien-hunters in suits, and a bald Matt Damon kicking ass, the sci-fi of this generation continues to astonish (some better than others). Another addition to the sci-fi films of the decade, Edge of Tomorrow, combines elements of its predecessors to deliver one great futuristic war film, with an ounce of time travel. Comparable to films like Elysium (badass mechsuits) and Battle: Los Angeles (war against aliens), and also Oblivion (Tom Cruise in a sci-fi flick), Edge of Tomorrow knocks those out of the water, with even cooler mechsuits, an interesting and clever alien design, and an even better Tom Cruise hero. The scientific suspense of the film was one of its greater aspects, showing us high-tech gizmos from holographic maps to battle-ready suits for war.
The cast of the film was decent for a sci-fi film, bringing back Tom Cruise from his performance in Oblivion to shine once more. I've enjoyed Cruise ever since Rain Man, and greatly appreciated him as an action-film star since Mission Impossible, so I knew he wouldn't let me down this time. While Oblivion, telling another tale of a post-apocalyptic Earth with Cruise there to save the day, may have fallen flat with its dull storytelling, Cruise manages to come back from that quickly with this film. Alongside Cruise we have the beautiful Emily Blunt, who I haven't seen on-screen since another time-travel thriller Looper. Blunt, who has tackled roles from comedy to sci-fi, definitely brings power to her roles in all her movies, just like she did this time in Edge of Tomorrow. Playing a bad-ass soldier in the alien war, who wields a helicopter-blade sword while sporting a specialized mechsuit of her own, Blunt brings the heat as the female lead in the film. Her and Cruise end up having excellent chemistry on-screen together, kicking alien ass and riding the time loop till the end. The remaining cast, which is limited to a Kentucky-local Master Sergeant played by Bill Paxton (who also kicked ass on ABC's Marvel's Agents of Shield) and a few rag-tag team of soldiers who aid Cruise's Bill Cage in battle, perform well together and bring elements of comedy that helps lighten the tone of the film a bit. Cage's team, while all basically unknown actors, bring different personalities to the table, making the film seem a lot more grounded, rather than in the stars.
The action of the film, along with the special effects, are the highlights of the film for me. From the very first time Cruise is dropped into the war-torn battlefield, equipped with a mechsuit and little to no training, the action keeps you on the edge of your seat. The thing that makes this film interesting is that you basically never leave the battlefield, Cruise's main goal in the film being to enter the invasion continually until he defeats it (or at least sneaks by it). That's why the film makes the audience feel like they're in a video game, respawning at a checkpoint, and, while in the field, having aliens and other things flying at you from every direction. The aliens in particular were quite cool, appearing as a sort-of metallic symbiote, with flailing arm-things protruding from it (It's hard to describe). The battle sequences with the aliens may seem like any other alien vs. human movie battle, but they do stand out because of one thing: Mechsuits! Mechanical exoskeleton suits may be seen in some other sci-fi films (Elysium, etc.), but never like this. While they may seem hulking and heavy on the outside, also on the outside they are equipped with the most high-tech weaponry and supplies I've ever seen. From shoulder-mounted rocket launchers to gauntlets of machine guns, these things are bad-ass to see on-screen.
Overall, this film was one of the first great science fiction flicks of the year, bringing Tom Cruise back from the weak storytelling of Oblivion, and making us believe that Emily Blunt is seriously a "Full Metal Bitch". With high-quality action scenes, a moderately well told story, and a grounded cast, this one is definitely one-to-watch. While it may have fallen short of The Fault in Our Stars in opening weekend, I think true action fans, along with fans of the novel (All You Need Is Kill...not Fault in Our Stars), will appreciate this film for what it is: An awesome sci-fi flick to start off the summer...or continue it anyway.
I gave this film a 9 out of 10, because it blew me away with its amazing visuals (But it's no Gravity!), its cool characters with their own personalities, and its intriguing (yet fictional) political involvement. The only thing that really affected my opinion was the ending, which wasn't really that up-to-par with the whole film, and didn't leave you all that excited in the end.
What upcoming sci-fi films are you looking forward to in the near future? I'm mostly looking forward to this month's The Signal, along with July's Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. Leave some films in the comments, and don't forget to share and follow for more!