What day is it? – Tom Cruise’s character William Cage
For you, Judgment Day. – Response from soldier
– Edge of Tomorrow
I’m glad an ill-meaning undercover U.S. cop feigning as a commenter/reviewer on the SI Blog prevailed upon me to watch the Tom Cruise film Jerry Maguire last year because it provided a nice frame of reference for the star’s new film Edge of Tomorrow.
Jerry Maguire is doubtless a fine movie but no patch on Hollywood’s new alien adventure, Edge of Tomorrow.
East Meets West
In my not so humble opinion, most Hollywood alien films are intolerable crap burdened as they are by absence of an interesting narrative and overburdened by computer gimmickry featuring giant or weird creatures.
Dei gratia, Edge of Tomorrow is different.
It’s not often that American screenplay writers put forth imaginative stuff. Must be the gallons of soda they consume that’s numbed their brains.
Thank God for the Asians!
Edge of Tomorrow has its origins in the pen of Japanese writer Hiroshi Sakurazaka.
The movie is based on Sakurazaka’s 2004 novel All You Need is Kill and adapted for Hollywood by the trio of Christopher McQuarrie, Jez Butterworth and Johna-Henry Butterworth.
The novelty of Sakurazaka’s book, one that’s neatly adapted by Edge of Tomorrow, is in introducing the premise of time-loop of life and death into the framework of an alien film.
Alien films with even top Hollywood A-listers like Tom Cruise or Robert Downey Jr and gazillion dollar budgets become tiresome affairs without the glue of a novel idea to bind it all.
Introducing the time loop novelty and melding it with two solid actors (Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt), Hollywood’s gee-whiz techno effects and crisp, frequently witty writing makes Edge of Tomorrow a top contender for the biggest hit of this summer.
Tom & Emily
Tom Cruise owns Edge of Tomorrow via his character Major William Cage, a PR guy in the U.S. Army.
Cage is headed for London when Europe is at war with the alien Mimics.
The deadly Mimics have cut a wide swath of destruction and caused millions of casualties, leaving the world’s future hanging in the balance.
Thanks to bad behavior with General Brigham (Brendan Gleeson), Cage finds himself stripped of his rank, labelled a deserter and thrown into the front ranks of the war with the aliens.
Cage is now cannon fodder.
The movie beautifully captures Cage’s evolution from a battle-scared coward who can’t stand the sight of blood to a fearless warrior in one of his best performances to date.
Ever since I first glimpsed her in The Devil Wears Prada as Miranda’s senior assistant and Andy’s colleague, I’ve been besotted with Emily Blunt.
Emily is a first class talent and here she plays a battle-hardened tough warrior, a role model for other Earthlings fighting the aliens.
There’s more than a hint of a romance between the lead pair but we never get to see the denouement except for a kiss.
Overall, I found much to be pleased with Edge of Tomorrow – The acting, the story, the writing and the execution.
If alien movies can be as interesting as Edge of Tomorrow, I don’t mind a dozen more.
Call me pleased. 🙂