– by Linda Tran
Lt. Col. Bill Cage (Tom Cruise) is an officer who has never seen a day of combat when he is unceremoniously dropped in to what seems to be a suicide mission. Killed within minutes, he finds himself inexplicably thrown into a time loop – forcing him to live out the same brutal combat over and over, fighting and dying again and again. However with each battle, he becomes able to engage the adversaries with increasing skill, alongside with Special Forces warrior Rita “Angel of Verdun” Vrataski (Emily Blunt). As they take on each repeated battle together, they gain one step closer to winning the war.
Directed by Doug Liman (who also directed Jumper, Mr & Mrs Smith, and The Bourne Identity) this film also stars Brendan Gleeson (from the Harry Potter series), Bill Paxton (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.) and Kick Gurry (Speed Racer and Looking For Alibrandi).
The concept of being able to relive the 24 hours or so before the battle is quite different and unexpected compared to other ‘time travel’ films. This ability isn’t magical nor does it ‘run in the family’ – but it is alien, in the literal sense. Based on the manga All You Need Is Kill by Hiroshi Sakurazaka, an alien race has hit the Earth in an unrelenting assault, unbeatable by any military unit in the world. Although confusing at first, once you catch up to the film’s pace, this different concept to time loops is actually quite refreshing.
It is not unknown that there are a lot of people out there who aren’t Tom Cruise fans. Admittedly, I am one of them. Having said that though, his performance in this film was remarkable. Edge of Tomorrow isn’t like any of his other action movies where he plays the cocky and suave hero, who swoops in to save the day and every woman falls in love with him. His character, Bill Cage, starts out a bit too self confident – however being forced into the time loop, you see him stepping up and doing what needs to be done. In a sense gaining his respectability back, there were a few cuts in a montage where you see him trying to save everyone from their ultimate doom; but realising it is a suicide mission to start with, he learns that he can’t be the hero who saves everyone’s day. Cage starts to march through the battlefield guns blazing on his own mission: to stop the aliens and end the war.
The crowd favourite was clearly Emily Blunt, who defies her typecast as just a dramatic and comedic actress. Her performance in this movie definitely proves that her acting range includes ‘bad-ass warrior woman.’ Not only can she pull off wearing her combat uniform while holding guns and/or her sword, but also she is one of the first likeable characters in this movie. One of the many small touches that were added to the movie was the international casting. Since the war takes place worldwide and every nation has stepped up to add to the fighting in every way they can, believability would be hearing a variety of accents during the film. Bring in Brendan Gleeson and Kick Gurry. Agreeably, Gleeson is in almost everything these days – and with his role in the Harry Potter films, everyone is used to seeing him and hearing his accent. The actor and accent that stood out, for me anyway, was Kick Gurry. Mostly because when an Australian speaks in an American movie, they can be spotted pretty much instantly. Even though he is just a part of the ensemble cast that forms Cruise’s fellow soldiers (and inadvertently part of the comedic relief group), his performance still stands out on its own.
I went in to this film unsure whether I would like it or if I would actually recommend it to anyone, but here I am saying: It’s worth seeing in the cinema, for every explosion and visual effect on the big screen and surround sound. If you’re not a Tom Cruise fan though, then go see it for Emily Blunt and her inspirational kick-ass girl power. As a non-fan of Tom Cruise, I would still go back and see this film again – that’s how jaw-dropping it was.