Okay, in spite of the title above, give me a moment to make it known that Edge of Tomorrow isn’t flawless. A few of the actors give somewhat hammy performances, and there’s one plot point that feels just a little contrived. With that said, these flaws are very easy to overlook when compared to overall film, which is, in my opinion, a damn near perfect summer flick.
All right, let me wind it back a bit. Edge of Tomorrow is set in the near future. A deadly alien race, designated “Mimics” by humans, has declared war on the people of Earth. While their reasons for doing so are unclear, they are also irrelevant. They’re here and they need to be stopped, that’s what matters. For years, humanity has been on losing side of the conflict. However, after the development of a mechanized exoskeleton for soldiers to use in combat, it would seem things are shifting toward victory. This is where William Cage (Tom Cruise) enters the mix. As a spokesman for the United Defense Forces, the group that patented the exoskeleton suits, Cage has been requested to do coverage of the ironically named Operation Downfall, a full-scale assault with the intent of wiping out the Mimics entirely. Cage refuses, trying to worm his way out of the mission through the use of blackmail. He is subsequently arrested, stripped of rank and sent out into the battlefield with the rest of the soldiers. As it turns out, the Mimics were already aware that Downfall would be taking place, and so they planned ahead of time. The invasion force is slaughtered, Cage included. Before his demise, however, he encounters a unique Mimic that, when killed, spills blood all over his body and down his throat. Upon dying, he awakens a day earlier among the soldiers who are about to be sent to their deaths.
You’ve seen the trailers. You know the story. Cage relives the same day over and over, having taken control of the Mimics’ ability to turn back time. In doing so, he must learn everything he can about what happens that day in order to alter the seemingly inevitable doom of humanity. And so, you have your movie.
What I love about Edge of Tomorrow is that it doesn’t take itself very seriously, while at the same time doing exactly that. What I mean is this: movies, lately, have just been doing everything in their power to be “dark.” I don’t understand why this is. Why can’t a film vary in atmosphere, in pacing, in feeling? Why can’t we have a movie with dramatic moments, funny moments, and badass action scenes all alongside one another? I think we need more films like that, with stories that don’t just sit on one wavelength the whole time, stories that shift in emotion enough that they don’t grow stale. I’m not saying every movie needs to be this way, rather that there should simply be more that are.
The performances in this movie, for the most part, are solid, with both leads exceeding my expectations. Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt have fantastic chemistry, especially considering that every other scene they’re in is the first time they’re meeting. Both of them play their roles authentically alone and together, creating a realistic energy while still keeping things fun and interesting.
I don’t really want to say anything more, since a lot of what made me enjoy this film was what I wasn’t aware of prior to watching it. That being said, I’ll say that my favorite scene happens in the middle, a moment where nothing appears to be happening, but then, when you least expect it, a truly moving revelation comes about. Oh, and one more thing: the last twenty minutes of Edge of Tomorrow are incredibly intense, packing in just the right amount of action, suspense and drama, while also wrapping everything up with a satisfying conclusion.
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