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Earth has been invaded yet again by Science Fiction aliens, and lucky for the species, Tom Cruise has got it covered in The Edge of Tomorrow. But taking his turn makes for more than a double take, and leaves you suspect as to whether the saving was actually worth your time.
News clips tell us that a meteor has touch downed, and among the fragments, were an alien invasion force. Not quite on par with Independence Day, the limited incursion hasn’t brought society to the brink yet but the writing is on the wall. “Since they landed outside Hamburg five years ago, they have steadily advanced across Europe, says a BBC Reporter. “We’ve suffered millions of casualties.”
A New Hope for Humanity
A skip over the English channel, and London’s fall will pave the way for the rest of the world, warns the reports. Fortunately, hope comes in the form of a stunning human victory at Verdun.
A new jacket technology enables soldiers to wield weaponry in a mechanical suit that looks similar to the enhancement that Ripley used to slay her alien. Soldiers now have a fighting chance versus invaders who appear to have long mixed technological advancements right into their natural biology.
Tom Cruise Loses Safe Spot in the Rear
Tom Cruise, on the other hand, prefers to wage his portion of the fight without such amenities. This, as long as he is safely in the rear promoting the gear. “She was able to kill hundreds of mimics on only her first day in combat. Imagine an army of Rita Vrataskis,” Major William Cage does his part on CNN as Military Spokesman.
Maybe doing his job too well for his own good, Cruise’s appealing optics land him a position at the front to document Operation Downfall. Good looks do have their limits as Cage tries to set the army straight. “The war broke out, I lost my advertising firm and here I am. You know, I do what I do,” he tells the commander of forces. “You do what you do.”
His persuasion obviously falls short so he makes a run for it, and flight is quickly turned into fight. Two steps and a taze, and Cage awakens on the tarmac at Heathrow - one day from being part of the first wave.
Cage has no more success with his drill instructor, and following plenty of derision for trying to desert, the now private awaits airdrop with the rest of the fodder. But the surprise attack is anything but, and neither is Cage’s quick demise.
Hello Boys, I’m Back
So Live, Die, Repeat begins as the film is billed. After being killed by an “Omega,” Cage again wakes up on the tarmac. A little wiser, his foreknowledge is ignored, and the catastrophe mostly replays itself.
He eventually forms an alliance over the quantum leap with Rita (Emily Blunt). She was previously stuck in the loop that was residually passed down by the attacking Omega but has now returned to real time.
Ad infinitum, both work toward the key to victory: Killing the Omega. But unlike movies such as Inception that add thought provoking complexity and drama to the time warp, the edge drags across the endless looping.
Cage’s military skills and mission intelligence accruing after each iteration, you sit tediously in wait of the pivotal moment. The same goes for his fading cowardice, and it’s not hard to surmise that he’s going to have to complete the mission minus the safety of a time jump that will bring him back to life.
The Edge of Tomorrow also lacks any meaningful science fiction merited message but still manages to return moderately pleasing fare. And if you like a happy ending, Cruise does execute his patented to boyish smirk to signal victory, and at least sends you away at the end feeling pretty good in the moment.