TMN Movie Review: "Edge of Tomorrow"

Photo Credit: Warner Bros.

Rating: PG-13
Length: 113 minutes
Release Date: June 06, 2014
Directed by: Doug Liman
Genre: Action / Sci-Fi

Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt star in "Edge of Tomorrow," a fresh and exciting futuristic action movie. "Edge of Tomorrow" is directed by Doug Liman, who is best known for his work on television series like "The O.C." and "Suits." He also directed the critically acclaimed "Bourne" film trilogy. "Edge of Tomorrow" is based on an illustrated Japanese novel titled "All You Need Is Kill."

"Edge of Tomorrow" goes beyond typical summer blockbusters with its unique and compelling story. In the near future, a terrifying alien race known only as Mimics has invaded the planet. Their invasion is relentless and unimaginably destructive. Almost like locusts, the Mimics reduce even the most advanced cities to broken pieces of rubble. Citizens of the Earth are dying by the millions with no end in sight, as the human race is no match for these monstrous aliens. The Mimics are simply too fast and intelligent, and their violence is shocking. In response to the invasion, the world's leading scientists create high-tech combat suits for soldiers to wear that give them a small chance in battle. The soldiers even share telepathic links with their commanders. All the armies of the world have come together in spite of their differences to make one last stand on behalf of humanity, but the fate of mankind might rest in the hands of just one very unfortunate soldier known as William Cage.

William Cage is an officer who has never experienced war with the Mimics. Just after being demoted, he is dropped off in his first battle with no training whatsoever. He is slain almost immediately, but he manages to kill an Alpha Mimic before he takes his last breath. Just after he dies, he somehow wakes up that morning with no explanation of how he got there. The confused officer relives the day's events and, to his horror, his death. After his second death, he awakens again to experience the day a third time, and a fourth, and so on in a seemingly endless time loop. At first, Cage helplessly accepts his terrible fate, lacking the training necessary to change it. Eventually, he learns to use the time loop to his advantage by adapting to the way the Mimics fight and increasing his skills with every passing battle. Rita, a Special Forces warrior who is responsible for killing more Mimics than any other soldier on the planet, decides to help Cage find the key to destroying the aliens once and for all.

Cage is portrayed by Tom Cruise, an ideal actor to fill the role. Few actors have as much experience in science fiction movies as Cruise, and his previous experiences as the lead protagonist in otherworldly movies like "War of the Worlds" and "Oblivion" clearly have an impact on his role in "Edge of Tomorrow." Cruise's interactions with the fearsome aliens are as realistic as they get. Cage's fear as he faces his brutal fate over and over is palpable. He admits that he is a coward, even going so far as saying the sight of blood makes him ill. When he is dropped off in the middle of the battlefield, he is so terrified that he cannot even figure out how to turn off the safety on his high-tech combat suit. As the time loop relentlessly throws him into the heat of battle, he begins to develop the courage needed to win against the aliens.

Emily Blunt takes on the role of Rita Vrataski, the hardened veteran whose battle prowess has made her a legend among her peers. Emily Blunt's teacher-student relationship with Tom Cruise's character is an interesting one that is not often seen in action movies, but she pulls it off flawlessly. Blunt manages to come across as caring in spite of her cold, harsh exterior. Their chemistry is even humorous at times thanks to her trademark sarcasm, especially when Cruise is struggling to keep up with the superior warrior during training sessions and on the battlefield. Blunt is arguably just as much a lead actor in "Edge of Tomorrow" as Tom Cruise. If not for her character's guidance, mankind would not have a chance at defeating the Mimics.

Any fan of action and aliens will be pleasantly surprised by director Doug Liman's ambitious foray into the mainstream science fiction genre. The harsh apocalyptic atmosphere, flawless portrayals of unique characters with complex stories, brutal battle scenes and dark, moody score make  "Edge of Tomorrow" one of the most unique and exciting summer blockbusters in recent years.