Edge of Tomorrow review

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Here are some thoughts on the move Edge of Tomorrow.

I first saw the trailer for this movie around December 2013 if I recall correctly. It immediately grabbed my interest and intrigued me greatly. I expect I probably watched it numerous times. Certainly I really wanted to see it in the cinema and the wait until June seemed very long.

As it turned out when June rolled around I wasn’t able to see it in the cinema so it became another waiting game, this time for the blu-ray disk.

And here it is at last. Only it’s no longer called “Edge of Tomorrow” on the box, instead the tagline “Live Die Repeat” has been promoted to full title duties. It’s kind of like renaming “Alien” as ”In Space No One Can Hear You Scream” I suppose.

I suppose “Live Die Repeat” is literally a more accurate way to summarise the story but it comes across as less poetic. Or something. It seems that the new title is an attempt to fix whatever problems caused the movie to apparently underperform at the cinemas.

In a nutshell then. It’s the near future. In fact it’s the very near future as BBC presenter Jane Hill is still reading the news if the opening “we’ve been invaded “by aliens montage sequence is anything to go by. It seems the alien “Mimics” have taken over pretty much most of Europe. Russian and china are fighting them on the eastern front and an invasion is to be launched from England to open up a western front. Hey, just like WWII!

Tom cruise plays Major William Cage who is a military spokesman for the United Defense Force. He is summoned to a meeting in London with the commander played by Brendan Gleeson and is slightly put out to discover he’s going to be accompanying the invasion force to France the next day. It’s a refreshing change of the type of character Cruise plays as Cage is a complete coward and refuses to go. Gleeson therefore promptly busts Cage down to private and has him shipped out to Heathrow airport which is where the invasion force is gathering. There Cage meets Master Sergeant Farell who is played by Bill Paxton, although it took me a while to twig on that it was Paxton.

As seen in the trailers (so I’m not spoiling anything here) the invasion is a disaster. Everyone dies, including Cage. And he wakes up back at Heathrow the day before. After a few iterations of invading and trying to survive he encounters Emily Blunt’s Rita Vrataski –the Angel of Verdun – who is a poster girl for the army having managed to defeat the aliens before. It turns out she once had the alien-inherited power that Cage now has and together they try to work out how to defeat the aliens.

There is a lot of dark humour to be mined from the Groundhog Day premise. For example when training together Cage frequently gets injured. So to reset the clock Rita just shoots him in the head.

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Emily Blunt is very good as Rita, an acerbic take-no-nonsense soldier focusing on getting the job done. An interesting twist is that although the same thing happened to her in the past she has lost the ability and she doesn’t share the reset with Cage. So each time he’s starting over with more knowledge about her but she’s continually meeting him for the first time.

The movie weighs in at a little under two hours long which is slightly surprising – and slightly refreshing – in this day and age of long epic blockbusters. The movie is perfectly paced for the story it is telling.

There’s some very good use of London landmarks right from the start with footage of a helicopter landing at Trafalgar square.

I can’t really put a date on it. It’s clearly set in the future given the exo-skeletons that the soldiers where and the nifty hybrid helicopter airplanes that are used to get the troops into battle. But at the same time it has a strong feel of being set in the present day which I am sure is quite deliberate on the part of the film makers.

The “D-Day” invasion of Europe sequence was very impressive. There was one bit which I would have liked to have seen on the big screen where Cruise is dangling from an out of control drop ship as it spins around. It’s all comprised of one long sequence of him being tugged around.

It’s nice to finally see the movie, even thought it was a ten month wait from when I first saw the trailer. I still have the source novel All You Need Is Kill by Hiroshi Sakurazaka to read and I’ll try to get that done in the next ten months.