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Edge of Tomorrow: Sci-fi With The Heart of a Video Game

Posted on the 06 June 2014 by Haricharanpudipeddi @pudiharicharan

Movie: Edge of Tomorrow

Director: Doug Liman

Cast: Tom Cruise, Emily Blunt, Bill Paxton, Brendan Gleeson

Rating: ****

“Edge of Tomorrow” is a great film but it would have been even better as a video game. The makers should seriously consider turning it into one based on the response to the film. Watching the film was like living inside a video game for nearly two hours because only in a game, can you restart from the last time you saved and continue playing. When you die in a game at a certain point, you become aware of the place and ensure you don’t die there the next time. Even if you die at the same place again, you do it all over again until you champion it. This movie is based on that simple premise of changing the course of the future by controlling the past that will eventually shape the future.

Tom Cruise plays William Cage, an Army public relations officer, who is thrown into the middle of a war and is expected to be combat-ready in just a few hours. On D-Day, Cage doesn’t even last ten minutes in the battlefield. Then he wakes up and starts all over again. He dies and starts all over again and it continues. Every time he dies and wakes up, Cage memorizes key details that help him to not to make the same mistakes again and die. Although he dies again but a minute or two later than the last time, knowing he had been there, done that, talked to someone, touched something, and ultimately died. In the process, Cage turns from a coward to a lone killing machine with the help of Rita Vrataski, who once had the same power he possess now.

This is not the first time a film is made using the concept of time loop. We have seen it in “Groundhog Day” and most recently in “Source Code”, but “Edge of Tomorrow” is a cut above all the films in the same genre. Director Liman repeats the same scene far too many times in the beginning and just when you start to getting irritated about it, he smartly moves on with the story, allowing us to remember important moments from some of the scenes we see numerous times in the film. But every time you see the same scene, something has changed about it, maybe its meaning or essence. It’s not the same scene anymore even though it looks exactly the same way it did before. In fact, the very opening scene of the film is repeated again towards the end, but this time it has changed the course of everything.

“Edge of Tomorrow” is the funniest sci-fi film (especially in the first half) I’ve ever seen and I mean it. Liman changes the most serious scene  into the funniest one effortlessly and it doesn’t look artificial. This ability of his to strike a balance between sci-fi and comedy works in the favour of the film as the audiences didn’t mind watching the same scene over and over again as much as they did in the first 15 minutes. But the film is not funny all through because it shifts gears and gets into action mode just when you wanted it to. This is another reason why it’s also one of the best action films of recent past.

Tom commands respect and provides entertainment in his role. His transformation from a smooth talker to a fearless and ruthless solider is so impressive that all those who don’t like him as an actor just might cheer for him. He’s strongly supported by Blunt, who is equally extraordinary in her role of an elegant super solider who uses the wing of a chopper as her weapon. Gleeson and Paxton shine too for few minutes in their respective roles.

“Edge of Tomorrow” is a solid sci-fi flick with the heart of a video game.


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