Sunday, May 24, 2015

Movie #309: Edge of Tomorrow

Edge of Tomorrow is a sci-fi action movie starring Emily Blunt, Tom Cruise, Brendan Gleeson, and Bill Paxton. It really should have been titled Live Die Repeat, since that's what all the posters and the DVD box and the label at Target seem to think it's called. That's a cooler title anyway.

So: Earth is under siege by badass looking aliens called Mimics. In a shocking twist, they landed in Europe instead of in the USA, and are rolling roughshod over the continent. But! We've managed to beat them at Verdun, thanks in large part to Rita Vrataski (Blunt), a badass soldier now called the Angel of Verdun.

(Fun fact: The current head of SAVE in Chill 3rd Edition, Hayat Nejem, was called "Rita" in the outline after Blunt's character.)

Anyway, as the movie opens a PR dude named Major William Cage (Cruise) arrives in London to meet with the general in charge of the upcoming big push. When he tries to weasel out of being embedded with the troops, General Brigham (Gleeson) falsifies papers saying he's a deserted and was impersonating an officer, and he gets slotted in with the rank and file under the command of Sargent Farrell (Paxton). He makes it to the beach but dies within minutes (just like the rest of the soldiers), but manages to kill an alpha mimic in the process, becoming drenched in its blood...and then wakes up at the start of his day, in a kind of Groundhog Day meets Starship Troopers scenario.

He finds out that Rita had the same thing happen to her, which is how she took Verdun, but they learn that the aliens are playing them, leading into a slaughter. They need to find the Omega alien and kill it in order to end the war.

I like this movie; it's a good action flick and it's actually a good performance from Cruise. He's not the maverick, skilled, devil-may-dude, he is well and truly out of his element and he learns to cope not by becoming a badass (though that too) but by memorizing what's happening and staying ahead of it. Rita, meanwhile, actually is a badass and doesn't have the day-reset power anymore, and nicely transitions from mentor to partner for Cage. There's some romantic stuff going on, sure, but she doesn't get fridged - of course she dies multiple times, but so does everyone, and their victory at the end is a partnership, just like the rest of their planning.

The effects and the look of the aliens are really fun to watch, too. The aliens are ropy and fast and scary, and the exo-suits the soldiers use are pretty cool-looking (though it's never explain why we don't just bomb the aliens; or maybe we tried that and since they can reset days, they can just blast the bombers before they take off).

My Grade: A-
Rewatch value: Medium

Next up: Jeepers Creepers