<Review by: Sailesh Ghelani>
Directed by Doug Liman. Starring Tom Cruise, Emily Blunt, Bill Paxton, Brendan Gleeson
As predictable as this Groundhog Day meets most Sci-fi films of recent time is, Edge of Tomorrow manages to be refreshingly engaging and funny.
We all have days we wish we never had to live over. Most of us never do. But in Edge of Tomorrow – set some time in the near future when the world is attacked by generic aliens – Major William Cage (Tom Cruise) probably has to repeat the worst kind of day. The day he dies in a horrible battle against said aliens.
Now Major William Cage isn’t a military man, he’s a marketer who sells the ‘war’ to millions of recruits to get them to suit up in the latest mechanical suit that makes them tougher so they can battle the Mimics (said generic, bug-like aliens that even sound like ‘Aliens’; come on Hollywood, get creative!). He is then enlisted by General Brigham (Brendan Gleeson) to be embedded with troops. When he refuses he’s branded a traitor, demoted and forcibly sent to the battalion going into war on the ‘beach’. He dies while killing an ‘Alpha’ but then wakes up just where he started at the army base.
Only one person can identify with his predicament: Sergeant Rita Vrataski (Emily Blunt) who is hailed as a hero warrior. She must help Cage train for his live, die, repeat situation so they can defeat the enemy. Sound serious, doesn’t it?
So every time Cage dies, the day is reset and he has to relive it, mostly with the foreknowledge of what is to come next so he can adapt but sometimes with humorous results. It’s absolutely precious watching Tom Cruise start off as a cowardly brat who wants to save his skin. We’re so used to the Tom Cruise who can save the world and doesn’t know fear but this vulnerable, regular-Joe Cruise is so much more fun.
And every time Rita decides they need to ‘reset the day’, Cruise’s expressions as Cage are priceless. The audience was in splits. And though reliving a day several times in a film may sound a tad monotonous, director Doug Liman manages to speed up each incarnation and just show you highlights that are either witty or inherent to the plot.
Emily Blunt as the love interest isn’t really that. Her character lends balance and seriousness to the film. Bill Paxton as the stereotypical Master Sergeant Farrell adds another comic touch for Cruise’s character to play off of.
Sharp editing and a clear view of what’s ahead keep Edge of Tomorrow from meandering and confusing the audience as is likely to happen with a film that flip flops between timelines, which seems quite in vogue now what with X-Men: Days of Future Past also employing this very Star Trek premise.
Edge of Tomorrow isn’t a film you’ll see in the annals of Sci-fi Greats but it’s far more commendable and enjoyable than Cruise’s last sci-fi outing, Oblivion. Go watch it and have some fun.