“Edge of Tomorrow” might be the most solid summer entertainer that has arrived in a long time in the past few years. When it is said “solid entertainer”, it does not translate into discarding the intelligence of its audience and pummel them with metal clanking CGI action idiocies. It means that it has sense, common sense and lot more respect for the people who are not only arrive to be entertained but also have a brain they can flex. This does not also translate into complex plot that are aimed at intense connoisseurs hunting for profound meaning that might not exist. It means that good entertainment can be made to appear as simple while unfurling a complex run of screenplay.
Director Doug Liman does keep the aliens as the wormy creature as it has always been portrayed. It is clunky, enormous and versatile in moving underground and underwater. Yet they are an objective and they have selective power just enough to give the film the needed believability in its ice thin explanation. The world is slowly being taken over by these beings. As majority of Europe is taken over, there is hope in the new form of war suit. It provides the modern day soldier the tools to survive may be more than 5 minutes in the battlefield filled with these “mimics”. That is the first premise. Then “Edge of Tomorrow” builds on it and slowly we believe in the world Liman and his team creates.
In this world, is Major William Cage. After selling these suits to get more people to enroll for combat, Tom Cruise’s Cage and his sorry ass ends up at the dawn of “Operation Downfall” on the beaches of France. Unprepared and with certain death he manages to kill one mimic only to be doused in the blood of it. Alas he dies but he wakes up! He is the Army base at Heathrow Airport where his sorry ass was put. Of course one cannot stop thinking “Is it “Groundhog Day”?”. It would have been funny if Cage thought the same and referred it as well.
Here is where it is very important for the film to either make it or break it. It makes it. Despite Cage’s warning, everyone ends to their imminent demise in the beaches of France where the mimics with overhauling presence and preparation devastates their enemy. In this he sees a well known soldier he promoted during his marketing campaign for this war, Sergeant Rita Vrataski (Emily Blunt). She saves her knowing what happened to her in his first run and she immediately asks him to see him when he wakes up. She knows more.
With fast but proper explanation the viewers are educated on the capability of Cage’s resetting time. There are flaws but there is no time to think. The only thinking is that there evolves a purpose for these characters and there is an end game for this war. As does this film. From there on, with a screenplay that has got the sense of handling repetition, writers Christopher McQuarrie, Jez Butterworth and John-Henry Butterworth cuts through time keeping intensity intact for the film. As the character of Cage, they want to keep moving to the next level. Yes it is quite blatant in which the film resembles a video game but it resonates more so with the generation they are dealing with.
They bring up the detail when it is needed through Cage. When we go through a situation that the viewers are new, Cage is there to explain either it is actually the first time he is encountering or is it something he has understood and mastered. Cruise brings up the much needed frustration in his Cage who wants to move on to the next level but here it is more than a videogame of killing aliens. It is to make believe the key people to get his goal and move on in ending this war. In this comes Emily Blunt as effective as Tom Cruise and his Cage or rather more than them she takes the film forward. She marches on and leads the film through her character.
“Edge of Tomorrow” is the summer action film every year one hopes to see. It does the justification it has to in appeasing the critics and then entertains the heck out of the crowd seeking to be entertained. And mind you it uses the predictability and the cliche of a summer blockbuster. Yet it does not misuse and abuse it unabashedly.
It is the crispness of the storytelling that excels. The unperturbed nature in which it takes the viewer on to similar situation and a brand new one are more than making it a blind mindless entertainment. It has fun during it and brings about a smile or a smirk in its viewers. The romance thankfully gets played not alone in a balanced manner but more believably. As the lead man in the “Groundhog Day”, Cage begins to form a bond, liking and a camaraderie in Rita. It manifests into something one calls love but this is more so about a companion he can wake up to and die again to save her and of course the planet.