“Edge of Tomorrow” is one of the best science fiction thrillers I’ve ever seen. But before I offer up my opinions about just how incredible the movie is, I have a mini rant to go on.
Tom Cruise appears to be a mentally unstable human being. He’s a Scientologist, can come off a bit arrogant and he certainly didn’t come out smelling like a rose when Katie Holmes filed for divorce. Having said all of that, he’s a GREAT actor. In fact, he will likely be remembered as one of the best of his generation or any generation for that matter.
Cruise has given us some of the most memorable performances of any actor I can think of in the last 20 years (Born on the 4th of July, Minority Report, Magnolia, A Few Good Men, Jerry Maguire, Rain Man, The Color of Money, Tropic Thunder and the list goes on and on and on).
I bring this up because I’m tired of people protesting his movies because they don’t like him. Baltimore Ravens fans still cheered for the team winning the Super Bowl in 2000, despite star linebacker Ray Lewis being questioned in a murder case. Roman Polanski is hailed as an innovator in cinema and a legend by the Hollywood community, despite pleading guilty to unlawful sex with a minor and fleeing the country.
Bottom line, there’s a double standard with Cruise that I don’t understand. We should be able to separate our feelings of Cruise as a human being (I don’t really like him either) and an actor. We should be able to enjoy his movies and recognize his talents without fearing it represents an endorsement of his bad behavior. I still love Mel Gibson movies. Does that mean I’m anti-Semitic? NO! End of rant.
“Edge of Tomorrow” is a movie where the clichéd compliment of it being a “breathtaking” experience is actually earned. I really couldn’t take my eyes off the screen and was annoyed when I heard even the most minor creak coming from someone’s seat.
Written by Christopher McQuarrie (“The Usual Suspects”), the movie implements the Groundhog Day format of Cruise’s character Cage reliving the same day over and over. He’s a major in the army for PR purposes only, until a General (played by Brendan Gleeson) throws him into battle against an alien race that’s already destroyed most of Europe. He’s labeled as being a deserter.
Cruise dies in his first battle, with blood from one of the aliens spilling into his body. This causes him to wake up in the same place he started at the military base. Cage finds out he’s not alone.
Emily Blunt’s character, Rita, also at one time possessed the ability to repeat the same day. Working together, it’s up to them to win the war.
I don’t want to spoil much more than that. It’s a brilliant formula and the payoff is one that resulted in a grin on my face that I could literally feel on each ear. We care about these characters. The special effects and CG work is flawless. The plot is complex but it doesn’t alienate its audience. It’s also the fastest 113 minutes you’ll ever experience in a movie theater.
It’s one of the best movies of the year, and like “X-Men: Days of Future Past” it’s a movie I hope come awards season, is judged simply for being an excellent movie, not an excellent Science Fiction movie.
As I’ve said before with “X-Men: Days of Future Past,” science fiction films are either really good or really bad. This is another example of one that gets it right. It’s highly imaginative, and leaves you at the end of the movie, thinking about what you would do and how you would react if you were in a similar situation, trying to save the world. At least that’s how it was for me.
You feel as though you’re in a video game, watching Tom Cruise’s character Major William Cage die, wake back up again, go through the same obstacles, only to die and do it all over again to see the mission through.
What’s also very neat is you are figuring out all these crazy happenings at the same time as the protagonist. It moves at an almost perfect pace, in that as Cage understands more things, the audience does as well, and the movie starts to pick up even more.
Cage has never seen combat and is suddenly thrust into it. The experiences he goes through shape him and knock the “I only care about my own well-being” mentality out of him. This is a complex role that veteran actor Tom Cruise portrays very well.