Edge of Tomorrow, aka Live Die Repeat, is a 2014 sci-fi action thriller that follows Major William Cage, who is forcefully enlisted to take part in humanity’s largest attack on the invading alien force. During combat, something happens to Cage that makes him relive the day over and over again every time he dies in a Groundhog Day type fashion. With the help of Sergeant Rita Vrataski, Cage tries to figure out how to defeat the invading aliens by taking advantage of the timeloop.
Edge of Tomorrow, often rebranded as Live Die Repeat, is based on a Japanese light novel titled, All You Need Is Kill, by Hiroshi Sakurazaka, which has also been adapted into a manga. Hollywood is notorious for butchering almost anything based on a Japanese light novel, manga, or anime, and for the first time, they actually succeeded with Edge of Tomorrow being one of the best movies of the year. Unfortunately, due to Maleficent and the Fault in Our Stars, Edge of Tomorrow bombed at the box office, which is a shame since it is one of the best non-superhero action movies in a while.
Directed by: Doug Liman
Genre: Sci-Fi, Action, Time-Travel,
Release Date: June 6, 2014
Running Time: 113 minutes
MMPA rating: PG-13
The Good: Smart plot, Good pacing, Excellent performances from Cruise and Blunt, Impression action direction, Top notch special effects, Strong character development,
The Bad: Final Act is not as involving, A few very minor logic gaps,
Plot: 8.5/10- With Edge of Tomorrow's Groundhog Day-esque "Live Die Repeat" story structure, you would expect it to get old fast, yet director, Doug Liman, is able to insert enough dark humor, changes to repeat scenes, and skillful editing to make each repeat entertaining. The world building is executed fairly well, although many aspects of the world are rather vague for a first third of the film.
The use of the "repeat" concept provides for a unique narrative structure for an action film, because the main characters can and do die, repeatedly. While not all that original for certain Japanese stories like Steins;Gate, the film also explores the idea of what repeatedly dying and watching someone die does to the human psyche, and it is well executed.
In terms of pacing, few films are so fast from beginning to end. After the beginning with the story's set up, the movie only slowed down once until the end, yet it never felt too fast either.
My only minor issue plot wise is that there are a few very minor gaps in logic, although most of which are explained as the film progresses. Also, the final Act was not quite as intense or involving as the rest of the film.
Characterization: 8.4/10- Without spoiling any important plot points, Major William Cage is a well developed protagonist. From the beginning of the film to the end, you can clearly see his progression as a character. As stated previously, the film delves into what dying repeatedly does to the psyche of the main character, and it executes that aspect well.
Sergeant Rita Vrataski, also known as the "Full Metal B*tch" (insert Fullmetal Alchemist/Full Metal Panic joke here), is the film's main female protagonist. She is an excellent example of a female protagonist done right. Rita’s character is neither sexualized nor lacking in femininity. She is a woman soldier, and the film does not make it seem like a big deal or abnormal, which is great.
*Minor Spoilers* Throwing in a romance at the last minute did not seem all that necessary, but it was not much of negative either. *End Spoilers*
Action: 9.5/10- Doug Liman's direction of the action sequences in Edge of Tomorrow are exceptional, at least until the final Act. For the most part, the film combines the chaoticness of a military beach landing with the thrilling fast pace of the mech-suits versus the aliens action. A lot of the action sequences are like a video game or anime, but in the best way possible.
My only complaint is that the final action sequence was darkly lit and lacked the intensity of the previous action scenes. In its own right, the scenes are not bad, but only in comparison.
Acting: 8.9/10- Despite being borderline insane in real life, Tom Cruise is one of the most reliably great actors in Hollywood today. His excellent performance as Cage is a large factor in what made the character work so well, and Emily Blunt is equally strong as Rita. Bill Paxton is often hilarious in his role as the typical drill sergeant character, and Brendan Gleeson is solid as the General character.
Special effects: 8.7/10- While not all of the CGI is perfect, particularly the alien designs, the use of practical effects for the mech-suits is incredibly effective. Instead of using CGI, almost all of the closeup shots with the suits are actual 50-100 pound costumes that the actors wore with support, which is rather impression.
Soundtrack: 6.9/10- Christophe Beck's score is entirely fitting for what the film needed, albeit not all that memorable in retrospect.
Humor: 8.3/10- Thanks to the well timed dark humor of the various ways Cage dies throughout the film, the repeat scenes do not suffer from being annoying or repetitive. Of course, that type of dark humor, aka black comedy, is entirely subjective.
Entertainment Value: 8.7/10- Being that it combines several of my favorite story elements, Edge of Tomorrow entertained me from beginning to end. The only slow point was the ending, which was not quite on the same level as the rest of the film.
Overall: 8.3/10- With a well utilized concept and thrilling from beginning to end, Edge of Tomorrow is a superb sci-fi action film and one of the best movies of the year thus far.
Closing comments: In a year full of spectacular sequels and comic book movies, Edge of Tomorrow is a refreshing joint of sci-fi entertainment that everyone can enjoy.
Recommended for: Sci-Fi fans, Action fans, Time-Travel fans, Anime fans,
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