Why “Edge of Tomorrow” is what the Summer movie season needed.

When one looks at the usual slate of Summer blockbusters, it is realized that we have definitely been living in the age where sequels and reboots have taken over the market. We’ve reached a point where besides the independent circuit, there are little to no original films in the mainstream industry released during this time of year.

Thus, moviegoers have been given “Edge of Tomorrow,” based on the Manga “All You Need is Kill.” Director Doug Liman (“The Bourne Identity”) takes us to a near future where mankind is at war with this unbeatable alien race. Major William Cage (Tom Cruise) is an officer who despite having no combat experience is sent into what eventually becomes a suicide mission. Cage soon realizes that he has been infected with an alien gene that forces him to relive the same day over and over again, in the hopes to win this battle against this alien race.

I was never really excited for this film to be honest. The marketing made this film seem like another “Oblivion” – a film that was dull and uninspired. Also, “Edge of Tomorrow” isn’t anything entirely original, as we have seen plenty of its plot elements in other films before like “Groundhog Day” or “Source Code.” But I am ecstatic to say that Liman has crafted the type of Summer blockbuster that I have been waiting for quite some time for: an enthralling piece of sci-fi entertainment. Sure, “Edge of Tomorrow” may borrow from other well-known films, but it is through its remarkable execution that keeps these ideas fresh and of course, entertaining.

As sold through the trailers, “Edge of Tomorrow” promises an action-packed sci-fi special effects extravaganza. And as someone who wasn’t impressed by the marketing, I was blown away by the scope and unnerving entertainment value that was projected. The visuals throughout the film are outstanding and even feature some really inventive creature designs that are more interesting than the designs found in the MUTO creatures in Gareth Edwards’ “Godzilla.”  But it isn’t just because the action sequences were so well executed but rather that the story and characters wrapped around them are done so well. Inherently, the idea of reliving the same day over and over again can get pretty repetitive and quite ridiculous. And thankfully, the film is completely aware of that factor  and even uses that element to great comedic effect. It plays on the frustrations one goes through when playing a video game, in which every time you die, you get sent back to the first level. And when you would expect the film  to get old real quick with its repetition, it intelligently swerves around those cracks through its inventive structure and terrific editing.

And say what you want about Tom Cruise in his personal life, but you cannot deny the commitment he gives to his roles, particularly his action roles. And “Edge of Tomorrow” is no exception. Also equally solid is Emily Blunt, in a particularly strong female role that serves as Cruise’s counterpart throughout the film. Both Cruise and Blunt share terrific chemistry and their characters’ motives are truly felt especially as the film reaches its third act.

“Edge of Tomorrow” is the film that this Summer blockbuster season needed the most. In a time where saturation of sequels and reboots just continues, it is quite a relief to see an original non-sequel/reboot (albeit a book adaptation) that is simply put, a completely entertaining popcorn fare. In fact, it’s more than just that – it’s clever and surprisingly intelligent but not to a point where it becomes too confusing to follow. I implore you, go see this movie because I fear it won’t get the attendance and box office figures it deserves. If you are someone like me who has been looking for a non-sequel/reboot in a Summer where there is almost nothing but sequels and reboots, then “Edge of Tomorrow” is for you.

“Edge of Tomorrow” earns a 4.5/5

 

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