Edge of Tomorrow made it to the silver screen on June 6th. In this case marking the 70th anniversary of D-Day, which is very fitting. Director Doug Liman (The Bourne Identity) captures the year’s most gripping action set piece as a metaphor for the attack on Normandy. Both of them taking place on a beach with enemies on different sides, and fighting until one is left standing. That’s only the beginning about this year’s best action film.
Based on Hiroshi Sakurazaka’s novel All You Need is Kill, the movie takes place in the not-too-distant future where aliens (known as Mimics) are at war against humanity. Every military unit has been trying to fight them off for five years. Major William Cage (Tom Cruise) is summoned to London to meet up with General Brigham (Brendan Gleeson). Brigham forces him to be with the military unit after showing him a map in which the Mimics are invading Europe.
Cage is sent to the base where he will deploy the following morning. With absolutely no combat experience, Cage must follow to follow orders by Sgt. Farell (Bill Paxton). When he lands on beach, he gets killed within minutes. He wakes up at the same place, the same day, and the same time. Realizing he is caught in a time-loop, Cage gets help from Rita Vrataski (Emily Blunt), a Special Forces warrior, to increase his combat skills and therefore saving humanity for good.
Even though it has a similar concept to Groundhog Day, screenwriter Christopher McQuarrie uses it in a different approach. Thus, making Edge of Tomorrow complex, smart, action-packed, and surprisingly funny at times. Of course, it might sound like the perfect concept for a video game; not to mention the movie’s tagline (“Live. Die. Repeat”). I forgive McQuarrie because that’s what makes the movie fun. With a complex story featuring impressive effects (i.e. the Mimics), it’s fair to pay full attention to what’s going on while Cage is in a time-loop. Even how Liman sums the story up is quite satisfying.
Almost hitting the age of 52, Tom Cruise can succeed in portraying just about anybody. In his career, he has played a vampire, a secret agent, a rock star, and a man with an older autistic brother. There is one gifted talent that he can do that most actors cannot; that is to perform his own stunts. Whether if it’s rock climbing in Utah or climbing the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, Cruise can literally push the boundaries. In Edge of Tomorrow, he never seems to run out of breath with co-stars Emily Blunt, Bill Paxton (up to par with R. Lee Ermey from Full Metal Jacket), and Brendan Gleeson. This is one of 2014’s best films.