Edge of Tomorrow: East meets West meets Aliens
Based on Hiroshi Sakurazaka’s light novel All You Need Is Kill, Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt team up for decidedly blander named: Edge of Tomorrow. The future, aliens, and Tom Cruise have not been a successful combination in the past. I had pretty low expectations and this summer is actually quite dull release-wise, so the movie was more something to watch and maybe be entertained. However, Edge of Tomorrow is an action packed, witty, fun fest.
Mimics are an alien race that have attacked Earth, but the film seems to suggest only Europe is under siege. Go USA?! The United Defense Force has attempted to eradicate the mimics but nothing. The UDF has planned an all out attack on the beaches of France, but the aliens are ready and the soldiers are slaughtered. Cage kills a mimic on the battlefield and becomes covered in alien blood, which gives him the ability to relive the day if killed. Cage teams with Rita, the poster soldier, to defeat the mimics.
I have not read any variation of the original story or was even aware of All You Need Is Kill; Sakurazaka’s story has been told in his novel, an Eastern manga, and a Western graphic novel. From what I’ve read, the film is quite a close adaptation with slight alterations. The changes, honestly, seem to benefit cinematic storytelling: Cage is trained by Rita and not Sgt Ferrell, the mimic variety is less complex, looping science, and location. The novel seems focused on the war aspect and alien enemy, and the film follows a man and woman’s struggle to win. I am interested in what a fan of All You Need Is Kill thinks of this movie.
Tom Cruise is back but unlike any character seen before. It’s Ethan Hunt meets Len Grossman; Cage is a “military” officer that handles the media relations of the US military and has never set foot on the battlefield. It is hilarious yet not unbelievable to see Tom Cruise stumbling and looking terrified by combat. Don’t get me wrong, Cruise eventually kicks ass and nails the stunts—He has to be, he’s Tom Cruise!
Paired with Cruise, Emily Blunt looks ridiculously shredded and definitely a match for Cage and the aliens. I love Emily Blunt (soft spot for anything British), but usually she is quite dainty and brings the sarcasm. The wit remains but backed by some serious fighting skills. Emily Blunt actually commands most of the stunts in the movie and holds her own, especially driving stunts.
Alien invasions in films are old news and almost a dull concept at this point; there are actually 5 movies with aliens just this summer. The crucial element for all movies with aliens is the special effects and look of the actual alien species. Edge of Tomorrow’s mimics looks awesome and unique. They are tentacle menaces; oily with spastic movements and demonic faces. It is refreshing and exhilarating to see a cool and new depiction of aliens. The effects were amazing because most were practical. The explosions and exoskeleton battle suits were practical and built for on camera. The suits Cruise and Blunt were weighed 85-125 pounds, which makes the performances even more compelling.
The movie was never slow or dull but exhilarating.
The supporting cast was forgettable but who cares. Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt are bad asses battling awesome aliens in crazy suits. The ending seems very polarizing, but I liked it. I always prefer an unconventional ending. Edge of Tomorrow is an action packed alien invasion film or perhaps a complex love story. There are so many layers to the film and think All You Need Is Kill was a great foundation for a film.
By Kasey Michael--a lover of all things entertainment. Born and bred in North Carolina, she has a degree in Film Studies and can usually be found in front of a screen.