Anthony's Film Review

Edge of Tomorrow (2014)

Another movie that warps our sense of time in interesting ways...

Here is a good film you might want to see. It's about a man who, due to a mysterious time loop, is forced to live the same day over and over again. It may sound monotonous, but the events only repeat themselves if he performs the same actions over and over again. Because he has the option of doing things differently, he has the ability to influence the events that surround him. Each time he makes a mistake, he could start the exact day over again, do everything up until the mistake, and then perform an alternative action that is better to avoid making the mistake twice. By repeating this whole process, he can do all the right things and finally get through the day with great success.

Let me make this clear. This is NOT my review of the 1993 comedy film Groundhog Day, featuring Bill Murray as a weatherman named Phil who has to keep reliving the events of one day (with moments such as waking up at 6:00 in his hotel room, being spotted by an insurance agent, stepping into a puddle, and going to a groundhog ceremony) but is able to do things differently (like jumping over the puddle) and may eventually have a good day by doing everything right. Rather, this is my review of the 2014 science-fiction film Edge of Tomorrow, featuring Tom Cruise as an army officer named William Cage who has to keep reliving the events of one day (with moments such as waking up at Heathrow Airport doubling as a military base, being ordered around by a sergeant named Farell, storming a beach to battle aliens, and watching a comrade die by getting crushed by a falling helicopter) but is able to do things differently (like saving the comrade from the falling helicopter) and may eventually win the war against alien invaders by doing everything right. I doubt the time warp similarity between the two films is coincidental, because Groundhog Day and Edge of Tomorrow also feature a leading lady named Rita (a news producer in the former played by Andie MacDowell and a United Defense Force leader in the latter played by Emily Blunt).

OK, so let's talk about Edge of Tomorrow. For about the first half hour, it really feels like a funny sci-fi version of Groundhog Day. But given that it's sci-fi, the film eventually differs from Groundhog Day in that it provides an explanation for the time loop. That fact becomes the basis for a series of interesting twists and plot developments. No longer is the movie a humorous series of different versions of the same day, but rather a serious narrative about saving the world. And it's a pretty good one.

Otherwise, Edge of Tomorrow has what you typically expect in a sci-fi action film, particularly a military sci-fi action film. The special effects are as good as what you normally see when it comes to computer-generated imagery. The aliens, called Mimics, are frightening as swift-moving clusters of tentacles. There are plenty of explosions and gunfire during the battle on the beach (which, by the way, is essentially a homage to the D-Day Invasion of Normandy during World War II). As for performances by the main cast, Tom Cruise isn't too bad as someone who gets tougher over the course of the film, and Emily Blunt does a decent job as a tough and cold-faced warrior.

Edge of Tomorrow, based on the Japanese novel All You Need Is Kill by Hiroshi Sakurazaka (and perhaps inspired by Groundhog Day), may not be the best sci-fi action movie ever, but it's still above average. I certainly enjoyed it for being different from other movies of the same genre that came before. Yes, it's adapted from a novel and similar to another old movie, but that's OK. A lot of fictional works tend to borrow from or be inspired by precursor creations. The important thing is that this movie is enjoyable. So if you have not seen it, I hope my review above will inspire you to see Edge of Tomorrow (and maybe Groundhog Day for that matter).

Anthony's Rating:

For more information about Edge of Tomorrow, visit the Internet Movie Database.


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