"Edge of Tomorrow"
Release Date: June 6, 2014
Running Time: 113 minutes
Death becomes Tom Cruise in Edge of Tomorrow, a gripping and meticulously constructed futuristic thriller that finds his untested soldier fighting aliens while stuck in a time loop à la Jake Gyllenhaal in Source Code and Bill Murray in Groundhog Day. Every day is the same for Cruise’s Maj. William Cage, a military spokesman whose insubordination costs him his cushy job in the war against an alien force that has already conquered Europe. He dies in combat during a major offensive in France, only to immediately wake up to relive the day again as a result of being contaminated with alien blood. Knowing what he knows, that the offensive is doomed to failure, Cage finds an unlikely ally in Emily Blunt’s war hero, Sgt. Rita Vrataski. She trains Cage in the hours before they are sent into combat. While each day must end with Cage’s death, he and Vrataski make a little progress in their efforts to ensure the success of the military operation. What sets Edge of Tomorrow apart from Cruise’s prior dust up with aliens, War of the Worlds and Oblivion, is its willingness to toy with his reputation as one of cinema’s most reliable men of action. It’s Cage’s cowardly streak and combat inexperience that sets the time loop in motion, and initially it’s his inability to be all that he can be that costs him his life on a daily basis. Cruise is in on the joke, and he doesn’t mind poking fun at himself whenever Cage is wounded and Vrataski puts a bullet in his head to reset everything. By the end of Edge of Tomorrow, though, the Cruise of Mission: Impossible has emerged to potentially save the day. In contrast, Blunt is immediately presented as a lethal weapon and the poster soldier for the war on the terror from above. This is of great significance. Edge of Tomorrow, and by extension those in the war room and on the front line, do not see Vrataski as anything but a solider who kicks alien butt. There aren’t any digs about Vrataski being a woman, and the film refuses to attribute her feats to the all-purpose battle suit she and the soldiers wear. In Edge of Tomorrow, all soldiers are created equal. While director Doug Liman carefully assembles Edge of Tomorrow so all the pieces fit nicely together and the action never feels repetitive, he pays close attention to the bond that emerges between Cage and Vrataski. It is the relationship between the two warriors that makes Edge of Tomorrow so involving, and the closer they get, the greater the concern becomes for them and the rest of humanity. To this end, Edge of Tomorrow is let down by an ending that plays it safe despite being a bit of a head scratcher. Never mind. The day we relive with Cruise and Blunt time and again is a memorable one that won’t be forgotten anytime soon.
Aired: June 5, 2014
Web site: http://www.edgeoftomorrowmovie.com/