Totally Biased Review: Edge of Tomorrow

Tom Cruise fights to save the world, again, in a well-done time warp war flick

The fourth time it happened, it wasn’t getting old yet.

The sixth time? Nope. Still not getting tired of it.

Okay, but the 8th time, that HAD to have felt a tad overdone. No?

Tom Cruise stars in Doug Liman’s (The Bourne Identity) action movie about Mayor William Cage, a man gifted with reliving the same day over and over, until he can make it through alive. Cage, along with the help of Rita Vrataski (Emily Blunt), a Special Forces wunderkind, must battle an alien race that appear to be the Tasmanian devil version of The Matrix’s sentinels, looking something like somersaulting metal spiders.

An action star veteran, Cruise brings Major Cage to life

An action star veteran, Cruise brings Maj. Cage to life

An action star veteran, Cruise brings Lt. Col. Cage to life

On the eve of a coordinated attack on the beaches of France, Cruise is told by General Brigham (Brandon Gleeson) that he will be covering the war from the front lines. After fighting, and dying, he is granted the ability to relive each day, after he’s been shot in the head, crushed by a downed ship, or hit by a jeep. After repeated failed attempts, Cruise seeks the help of the war’s poster-girl, Rita Vrataski (Blunt).

Liman has made strong female characters a staple of his, after harnessing the star power of Angelina Jolie in ‘Mr and Mrs. Smith’ (2007), he works wonders for Blunt, who plays off of Cruise so perfectly, you’d swear the pair had shared the screen before. Blunt absolutely belongs in the role, holding her own in each and every scene, including her introduction, as she holds a yoga pose in a combat training area, with a whir of blades spinning around her. The scene artfully contrasts the beauty of war, along with the brutality, which is important as it’s the first scene between the film’s protagonists.

Cruise, a master of the action movie at this point in his career, performs admirably as Maj. Cage, breathing life into a character that is, for a time, one step behind the rest of the film. Cruise somehow manages to make Cage look as out-of-place as possible on the battlefield, and it isn’t until the character is visibly hardened after his numerous tours of the same day, that the ‘real’  Cruise shines.  Mr. Cruise is excellent with his stunt work, often using it to bring out intricacies of his characters that might not shine through otherwise. Too often brushed off as easy acting, but hard to perfect, like Cruise has.

The screenplay, credited to Christopher McQuarrie and Jez Butterworth, splashes humor almost constantly in-between the flying alien debris and the constant bad-dream shakes suffered by Cruise. For each reset, the film will snatch a chuckle or two, and that’s being conservative.

‘Edge of Tomorrow’s motto is ‘Live Die Repeat’. It won’t serve you a plate of action movie tropes, or take itself too seriously, or confuse you with time travel scenes that all these movies seem to include. Cruise and Blunt lead a well-cast bunch in what will be one of this summer’s finest action blockbusters.

Opens everywhere Friday, June 6th.

three-stars

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