EDGE OF TOMORROW
US, Canada, 2014 Action/Sci Fi
Director: Doug Liman
Cast: Tom Cruise (Cage) Emily Blunt (Rita)
Ambitious science fiction film productions are risky business for large production companies. On many occasions, the amount of money invested in them for visual effects and having the due star power to pull the masses not always translates into income. So it is highly appreciated to see films like Edge of Tomorrow by director Doug Liman. Wherewith commitment, quality, and talent deliver one of the best Sci-Fi productions of recent years.
Aliens, death and time loops.
Aliens arrive on earth and start a war of conquest in which they have almost occupied all of Europe. Before a massive military displacement of earth’s forces on the coasts of France, similar to the Normandy landing, Major Cage is required in England. Here, Cage orders are to participate in this battle, although he lacks military training since he is only a spokesman for the army. A difference with the higher command leads Cage to suffer a demotion and be a part of this battle as a private soldier.
Although minimal resistance is expected from the aliens, the surprise attack turns into a trap resulting in bloody carnage on the earthling side. Cage dies in action. But to his surprise, he wakes up again the day before the battle, just as he arrived at the training headquarters, trapped in a time loop. Without even knowing it, Cage is the essential piece to have the opportunity to win the war against the invading aliens.
An adaptation and a clear inspiration.
Based on the 2004 novel All You Need is Kill by Japanese writer Hiroshi Sakurazaka, this film adaptation touches on the most interesting points raised in the novel. And yes, Sakurazaka found Groundhog Day before writing the story. For his part, director Doug Liman gives us an exciting and well-told narrative with spectacular action scenes. The best part is the landing in France. The chaos and despair of the soldiers as they dodge the projectiles and try to extend their lives a little longer have clear visual inspiration from the WWII Normandy Invasion and the scenes of that landing in Saving Private Ryan. There is excellent stunt work all around; there are so many things happening during this battle, repeated over and over again, that every time we see it, we can see different things in the background.
Award winning editing work.
In addition to highlighting the spectacular sound of the film, what stands out the most is the edition. James Herbert and Laura Jennings do a phenomenal job of sensing the perfect moment when to cut a scene and then the fit moment to restart the action again. Thanks to their work, the film is not repetitive; a high risk in a movie with the theme of Time Loop. The SFX is outstanding. They gave a sense of weight and quick movement to the Mimics, as the aliens are called in the film, convincingly portrayed as lightning-fast lethal machines. Maybe the texture of the Mimics is not that impressive, but a great job of the SFX department anyway.
Cruise does an excellent Wile E. Coyote.
Tom Cruise executes an excellent role as Cage. Always dying violently, Cruise faces each of these situations differently, from grief, surprise, and even a comical resignation. A gag on the set was that Cruise was making his best Wile E. Coyote. Emily Blunt as Rita also shows us that she is a capable action hero, very much in the style of Ripley from the Aliens series. The two actors make a good couple as fighting comrades, not so much as a love interest. There is no chemistry, and that growing love plot feels forced.
A small Sci-Fi classic
Although the resolution is expected and congruent, the final minutes feel forced. The weight of a star of Tom Cruise’s caliber is perceived in the sense of by contract, Cruise characters cannot die in any movie. Even so, Edge of Tomorrow is a technical achievement in all its aspects, a not-so-common story, excellent battle sequences, two good actors leading the action, making it a somewhat modest classic of the science fiction genre.
Nice performances by the two lead actors. Great action sequences. Editing and several technical aspects are outstanding. A small Sci-Fi classic.