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Mario Bautista, has been with the entertainment industry for more than 4 decades. He writes regular columns for People's Journal and Malaya.

Jun 11, 2014

Edge Of Tomorrow – Movie Review: Awesome Sci-Fi Flick With Plenty Of Slam Bang Action Scenes

TOM CRUISE’S new movie uses a cinematic ploy that will remind you of other time travel flicks like “Ground Hog Day” with Bill Murray, “Source Code” with Jake Gyllenhaal and “Deja Vu” with Denzel Washington. Although the device might be familiar, “Edge of Tomorrow” still packs quite a wallop as an awesome sci-fi movie with plenty of well staged action scenes.

Based on a Japanese graphic novel called "All You Need is Kill", this is better than Cruise’s last sci-fi venture, “Oblivion” as it’s alternately hilarious, action-packed and full of suspense, definitely a breather from the spate of superhero Marvel sequels and remakes we currently get from Hollywood. Cruise is Cage, a PR expert used by the military to recruit soldiers but has never experienced actual combat. The United Defense Force is launching an attack in France against alien invaders called Mimics and despite his protest, he is forcibly sent to fight in the front. The Mimics are scary creatures with octopus like tentacles that are veritable weapons of destruction. Cage quickly dies on the beach but then he wakes up again at the Heathrow headquarters where he is once again briefed by the sergeant from Kentucky (Bill Paxton), is re-introduced to his fellow troopers and is sent back into beaches of France where he dies once again, then he wakes up again on a non-stop replay of the same cycle of incidents.

Along the way, he meets the war hero and poster girl of the war against the Mimics, Rita Vrataski (Emily Blunt), who, likes him, has experienced the replay syndrome until she dies in Verdun. “Come find me when you wake up,” she tells him before they die again. We won’t explain here how they got into that level. Suffice it to say that it involves the Alpha and the Omega of the Mimics and their mission is to kill the Omega, the mother/brain of the Mimics, which turns out to be housed under a very famous museum in Paris with that familiar glass pyramid. (Can you guess?)

Directed by Doug Liman (“The Bourne Identity” where the hero is the opposite of Cage as he’s afflicted with amnesia, not remembering anything), the movie works mainly because of the spectacular work of CGI artists and designers who have come up with totally amazing special effects laden scenes, starting with the sight of hundreds of airships flying over the English channel and the fiery encounter with the aliens. The script is smart, liberally laced with humor as in the scenes where Cage repeatedly goes back to the base camp and can correctly predict what everyone around would say or do. And although many scenes are repeated, there’s always something new added into it so it doesn’t get boring. The excitement progressively mounts until the slambang climax, with the previously inexperienced Cage getting more and more adept in actually fighting.
Cruise invests gravitas into his performance as his character develops from inept coward to well trained action hero in the course of the story. Blunt as the kick-ass Rita approximates Sigourney Weaver’s Ripley in the “Alien” flicks. Cast against type, this is a breakout role for her after playing basically supporting roles in “The Devil Wears Prada” and “Looper”.