So here we are, sitting in the universe minding our business when THEY come around messing with us. Who are they? The Sentinels from 'The Matrix' is who they are. Even though they call these creatures 'Mimics' this time around. That's no problem for us in the film 'The Edge of Tomorrow' because we have Maverick on our team and Maverick is gonna kick some alien ass! Hell yeah! Watiaminute… you're telling me Maverick is scared? A coward? What kind of nonsense is this?
As mentioned, the aliens have attacked and they are laying Europe completely to waste. To keep morale high, Army spokesman Major William Cage (Tom Cruise) is on tour pumping up the troops and delivering good news just like a good Propaganda Minister should do. But an odd thing happens to Maj. Cage when has a meet and greet with General Brigham (Brendan Gleeson) in London. He wants Major Cage on the front lines. That's crazy. That's like President Obama putting a gun in press secretary Jay Carney's hands and sending him on the front lines of Afghanistan. Major Cage does not want to go on the front lines. I mean seriously… he DOES NOT want to go.
The armed services doesn't take kindly to cowardly disobedient soldiers who don't follow orders and after a sound tazing, Pvt. Cage finds himself about to take part in a huge offensive to take out the alien menace once and for all. If ever there was a person ill equipped for ground attacks against a damn near invincible alien enemy, it's the former Major Cage. Just so you know, this offensive is screwed from jump, it goes about as badly as an offensive can go, and Cage dies.
Only to wake up in the same day he just died in. Say what? Quicker than you can say Ground Hog Day loop, Cage finds himself in the same situation, dying over and over and over again, but at least getting a little better at being a soldier. Then on one of these return trips he meets the super hardcore Rita Vitalski (Emily Blunt) who seems to completely understand what Cage is going through, and when she tells Cage, before yet another horrible death, 'Find me when you wake up', we know that indeed something very strange is going on.
Guess what? Something very strange is going on. Dr. Carter (Noah Taylor) will explain it to us in exquisite detail, including what these aliens are all about and why Cage is resetting the same day over and over again, with Rita believing that Cage's reset ability is the key to stopping this alien menace.
Over and over again they go, Cage getting just a little bit farther, always on the verge of quitting because he's really not the most positive guy around, but now he has a reason to fight. Yes, Rita forgets who he is every time, but he gets to know her just a little bit better every day. And an impossible situation doesn't seem so impossible any more. Actually, it is kind of impossible, totally impossible from where I'm sitting, but nobody likes to see the aliens win.
Tom Cruise and Warner brothers must be sitting around thinking 'What more can we do for these people?' 'Edge of Tomorrow' is a really, really good movie and yet it seems to be turning into yet another huge box office disappointment, and I'm not sure why. It's big and explosive and exciting, it tells a great sci-fi themed story and does it in a way that is almost believable even though it is patently ridiculous, it has a big movie star at the front and a woman who has arguably the greatest facial bone structure on the planet earth in solid support, not to mention a director who is well versed in putting all of these elements together in Doug Liman… which forces me to ask again… what do people want to see? Dying teenage girls? Really? Admittedly, I almost missed this movie because the theater I go to has tickets and concessions in the same line, at which I was at the rear, and all the lines were filled with people getting popcorn and buying a ticket to 'The Fault in our Stars'. Some going to see it for the fourth time. This I cannot explain.
But back to 'The Edge of Tomorrow', it is truly a hugely entertaining film. Tom Cruise dusts off The Maverick grin early, only to have it quickly and almost permanently wiped off in yet another solid performance that finds this hero in a situation that he is ill equipped to deal with, and eventually only begins to deal with it because he has no other real choice in the matter. With a lot of fear and even more humor, Tom Cruise perfectly captures the plight of this completely non-heroic character and the road he is forced to travel. Emily Blunt is probably still too pretty to taken all that serious as a hardcore badass soldier, no matter how many cuts and bruises one put on her face, and no matter how tough she talks. Some actresses you can 'ugly up'. I'm thinking she's not one of them. The fact that she can actually act does help sell it a little bit.
Great action, great story, great actors acting great… then there was the ending. Not completely sure I was feeling that. The ending felt a little too… sweet. The endgame looked to be a situation where it could end up only one particular way, but I guess nobody wants to see a movie end that way. I don't mind, but apparently others do. At least those that actually went to see this movie, since an awful lot of folks were far more interested in watching dying teenage lovers.
I enjoyed 'Edge of Tomorrow' immensely, and it is the best summer movie of 2014 I've seen so far… more so than X-Men, more so than Godzilla, and I liked those movies too. Come on, give this one a chance. Bargain Matinee? Something? Anything?