Edge of Tomorrow is more than Groundhogs Day + [insert title movie here]

Edge of Tomorrow NB smaller

The summer blockbuster movie onslaught has been in full force since the beginning of May.  Most summer blockbuster films are full of explosions and one liners, and while all of that can be fun to see, they are very one note.   At the NYC premiere, for Edge of tomorrow, America’s golden boy Tom Cruise, came into our theater to intro the movie, and delivered a bunch of one liners from his previous flicks.  I almost felt like he was preparing me for what to expect.   I started to imagine Tom Cruise herpin and derpin from one moment to another delivering cool one liners along the way.  I was dead wrong.  Edge of Tomorrow goes well beyond the need for a memorable one liner, and delivers the best summer blockbuster of the year.

The Edge of Tomorrow is about Earth being at war with an alien race we have dubbed Mimics.  The Mimics have crashed across the globe and started attacking humanity everywhere.  Earth has banned together to create the United Defense Force to help stop the threat, and while we have won a few battles, we are losing the war.  Tom Cruise plays Major Bill Cage a Military PR spokesman for recruiting that has never seen a lick of combat.  Major Cage gains the unfortunate ability “reset the day” any time he dies, so he can keep trying to fight until he gets it right and eliminates the enemy.  The general plot of the film would make you say that it is Groundhogs day + Starship Troopers, or The Matrix, or Aliens, or just about any other big budget sci-fi film you can think of, but this movie is better than that.

Edge-of-TomorrowThe movie starts out with a montage of the backstory on the war, and Major Cage trying to put a positive spin on everything, including our introduction of Emily Blunt who plays Rita Vrataski, nicknamed the Full Metal Bitch.  Rita earned a new medal (I believe it’s the medal of the Valkyrie) that was specially created to acknowledge her for killing over 100 Mimics on her own in one battle.  Mimics are extremely hard to take down.  It usually takes several soldiers to take down one Mimic, so for her to take down so many on her own is beyond impressive.

After the montage has ended Major Cage goes to meet with the General in charge of an upcoming attack humanity is planning in Europe against the Mimics.  General  Brigham decides to put Major Cage on the front lines to help lead the assault.  Major Cage tries to refuse the order and is busted back down to Private as a deserter and sent to the front lines anyway.  I don’t want to spoil anymore of the plot because this movie needs to be seen and experienced.

I watched Edge of Tomorrow in 3D, and I gotta say this is the best 3D film I’ve seen in a long time.  I generally prefer 3D movies when I get a chance to see them, but recently I’ve felt like the novelty has worn off.  Most 3D films just haven’t been using the 3D properly.  Edge of Tomorrow shows Hollywood how to do it right.  There were several times where I flinched because I thought I was going to get hit in the face.  Even if this movie was bad, and it isn’t, I’d say that seeing this for the 3D alone during the action sequences makes it completely worth it.

Aside from the giant explosions, and the action, this movie has a lot of other things going for it.  While he wasn’t in the movie long, any time Bill Paxton (Master Sargent Farrell) showed up on screen he’d do something for comedic relief.  Bill Paxton and Tom Cruise played really well off each other on screen.  I’m surprised in their long careers that this is the first time they have worked together.  Hopefully in future interviews they’ll let us know how much of their on screen performance was written out, and how much of it was ad-lib.

You can’t have a big summer action flick without a love story somewhere, and this follows that same trope.  The only difference is that it isn’t just a story about a guy trying to get the girl while he saves the world.   Most of the time Rita is trying to save Cage instead, while keeping him at arms distance relationship wise.  The romantic aspects are some of the smartest parts about the film, but I don’t want to spoil that for you.

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While I really liked this flick it wasn’t without problems.  What movie is perfect anyway?  I had a few nitpicks that aren’t a big deal at all, but my brain refuses to drop them.  The movie never really explains why the Mimics invade earth.  It never even hints at it, which is kind of sad.  The original book All You Need Is Kill has a pretty good reason for everything, which I’ll cover in my next article where I directly compare the two.  The only other thing that kind of bothers me is that I don’t think Rita was bad ass enough.  I feel like they toned down what she should be capable of.  She was still pretty awesome on screen, but it never felt like she was capable of killing that many Mimics on her own at any given time.  Another problem I have with the movie, is the ending.  I won’t spoil it for you, but chances are, if you dislike one thing about this movie, it will probably be the ending.

Despite the fact that the ending was weak sauce, it doesn’t hold the movie back from being phenomenal.  I’ve seen every summer blockbuster so far this year, and Edge of Tomorrow is the first one I’m going to go back to see again as soon as possible with 3D glasses in hand.  You should do the same!

 

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