Starring: Tom Cruise, Emily Blunt, Bill Paxton, Brendan Gleeson, Charlotte Riley, Madeleine Mantock, Kick Gurry (Rated M – 113 min).
Personal life aside, like him or not, Tom Cruise is a commanding actor who rarely disappoints on the silver screen, this is no exception. Based on a popular graphic novel, easily the most unique science fiction adventure for some time, Edge of Tomorrow crackles along in a premise that combines Groundhog Day with Starship Troopers.
Major William Cage (Cruise) is more concerned with military recruitment that combat until he is given his marching orders to fight on the frontline against brutal attacking alien race known as Mimics. Rolling, flapping balls of black death, similar to an octopus, they pierce and engulf their prey. Waking up suddenly on the tarmac at his new base in London, he’s being ordered around by superiors. From the outset things go terribly wrong.
Their transport helicopter explodes mid air dropping Cage onto a battlefield with no idea how to use his weapons and after some close escapes, a peculiar, different, blue mimic devours him. Instead of instant death, Cage wakes up in the exact situation on the base tarmac being verbally abused by insistent Sergeants. Back to the frontline he goes, bewildered at what is happening all over again with the same results. Again he wakes up and so on it goes, Cage is now in an alien-induced time loop.
Learning valuable tricks to stay alive longer each time, he reluctantly trains with a resistance leader that understands his predicament, she was once a recipient of the very same time travel aura. Don’t expect any cheesy romance, these two are synchronised in victory over the Mimics. Emily Blunt (Young Victoria) is a natural well sculpted anti-heroine patiently assisting Cage, happy to point blank kill him to start the day again if things go awry. Riveting action sequences are nothing short of physical determination and emotional toughness holding onto a sense of humour that is never lost amongst the thrills. The script keeps one guessing while creative sharp special effects are top notch.
Australian Noah Taylor (Red Dog) pops up for an important cameo, listen to him, it’s important. The closing frame before end credits is perfection to a slick unpredictable story. As Cage, the stumbling pencil pusher becoming an elite fighting machine, Cruise amalgamates that signature Cocktail grin, the brashness of Top Gun, the comedy quips of Risky Business through the uneasiness of Rainman, into Jerry Maguire-like confidence. He is at his best.
Shane A. Bassett