HOLLYWOOD—There have been tons of action movies in 2014, but nothing along the lines of the sci-fi thriller “Edge of Tomorrow.” I’ll be the first to admit, this movie requires attentiveness; if you leave the theater to grab a snack or to take a potty break you’ll be lost.
While it’s not as complicated as let’s say “Inception,” it does have some clever tactics that manifests an enthralling narrative. The movie stars Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt, as an odd pairing who are forced to work together to end an eradication of planet Earth in the near future.
First and foremost, go into the theater with an open mind, what you’ve seen on TV gives the impression that this is a time traveling picture, which it is. The repetition of the same scene taking place over and over again with a new outcome can be exhausting for some, but very rewarding if you can put the pieces together.
Cruise portrays Major William Cage, a man who many might think is a combat soldier, but looks are deceiving. He’s a fearful man, and when forced to confront the ‘Mimics,’ an alien race that is slowly taking over the world, he obtains a special power: he can loop back into time and change things. Sounds like a fun trick right? It is, but at the same time, our main character has no idea what is actually transpiring for a substantial amount of picture. Those that he proposes his theory to, dismiss it as craziness.
It’s not until he meets Special Forces soldier Rita Vrataski (Emily Blunt) that his mission becomes clear. I must admit, Blunt is exceptional as a bad-ass female fighter, something rarely seen in sci-fi thrillers. The last time I recall seeing such a character was Sigourney Weaver in the “Alien” franchise or Linda Hamilton in “T2.” The duo work together to change the future by going back in time and repeatedly re-enacting the events to obtain the outcome that saves the human race.
The movie is directed by Doug Liman who helmed action thrillers “The Bourne Identity” and “Mr. and Mrs. Smith.” We’re not dealing with a novice here, and Liman stages the action just right in my opinion. It’s an action flick without a doubt, but it also has a narrative to follow as well. It’s not a movie with explosions, epic gunfire and stunning effects.
The script was co-written by Jez Butterworth, John-Henry Butterworth and Christopher McQuarrie. McQuarrie has teamed with Cruise in the past working on “Valkyrie,” “Jack Reacher” and they’ll also work together on the upcoming “Mission Impossible 5.” Something that stands out in the film is its comedic overtones. There are moments in the picture where comedy steps in to ease the serious tone. That’s notably thanks to Blunt who has some wisecracking lines, and Cruise responding to those jabs that are directed at his character.
“Edge of Tomorrow” is much more entertaining than one would suspect. It has a sharp script that knows how to balance humor, with action, the unknown and two smart characters that are equally balanced in my opinion. While it’s not a movie on many people’s horizon, it should be.