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The Warsaw Voice » World of Movies » July 4, 2014
Film review
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Edge of Tomorrow
July 4, 2014   
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Take Groundhog Day (1993) by Harold Ramis, add Steven Spielberg’s War of the Worlds (2005) for good measure, mix them together and you get Edge of Tomorrow, the latest sci-fi flick by Doug Liman (The Bourne Identity, Jumper, Fair Game). Any movie where the main character gets stuck in a time loop and lives out a single day over and over again will forever call to mind Bill Murray in Groundhog Day, while the sight of Tom Cruise fighting extraterrestrial invaders to save the human race instantly makes you think of Spielberg’s loose take on the classic H.G. Wells novel.

In Edge of Tomorrow, Cruise plays Lt. Col. Bill Cage, a former owner of an advertising agency turned staff officer in charge of public relations in the human army fighting the alien menace.

Cage might know all there is to know about PR, but he has never been in combat. A bit of a coward, he is brilliant at encouraging millions of volunteers to fight while doing his best not to join in the battle himself. The war everybody is fighting has no precedent in Earth’s history, as the planet is under attack by a mysterious alien race, ruthless and perfectly organized creatures with the terrifying ability to predict what humans are going to do next in their attempt to defend themselves. The invaders conquer almost all of Europe, reducing cities and their population to ashes. In Britain, the last stand in Europe, the united human forces are planning a counter-strike that bears a striking resemblance to the Normandy landings of June 6, 1944. The day before the new D-Day, Cage arrives in London to make a propaganda video, or so he thinks. While getting ready for the shoot, he meets Gen. Brigham (Brendan Gleeson—Gangs of New York, Kingdom of Heaven, Harry Potter series), who intends to send him straight to the front. Horrified and desperate to avoid combat, Cage tries to blackmail the general who, in return, has Cage arrested, demoted and forced into the military as a private. Now an ordinary soldier, Cage is sent to serve under Master Sergeant Farell (Bill Paxton—Apollo 11, Tombstone, Aliens), who is preparing his squad for the showdown with the aliens.

Minutes after landing on the French coast Cage is killed, but not before he kills an alien. And it is not an ordinary alien either, but one of the Alpha kind that has a telepathic connection with the Omega, the central brain of all the aliens. In order to protect its Alphas, the Omega is capable of turning back time every 24 hours to more or less the moment when Cage is thrown into the military training camp. Now, if you have ever seen Groundhog Day, you can easily guess the rest: Cage goes on to relive the last day of his life and his own death hundreds of times. But every time he loops back, he slowly but surely refines his combat skills while trying to figure out a way to defeat the aliens. As his endless mission goes on and on, Cage finds an invaluable ally in Rita Vrataski (Emily Blunt—Looper, The Devil Wears Prada), whom other soldiers like to call Full Metal Bitch, a nickname she earned by killing more aliens than anybody else in the world.

The fast-paced plot, spectacular 3D effects and a grain of intelligent humor make Edge of Tomorrow a highly pleasing piece of entertainment, especially for young viewers. The story works surprisingly well, or perhaps not that surprisingly given that the movie’s leading screenwriter is Christopher McQuarrie, known to movie buffs for Bryan Singer’s Usual Suspects and Valkyrie. In stark contrast to the main character’s never-ending ordeal, your 115 minutes in the theater are sure to pass in a flash.
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