Adam Reynoso ’15 / Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer
With any action movie, it’s easy to get lost in effects and action scenes and end up sacrificing character development or even just some exposition. And unfortunately, that tends to be the case with the new blockbuster Edge of Tomorrow.
The plot of the film is somewhat of an action movie take on Groundhog Day, except in this case instead of Bill Murray, it’s Tom Cruise‘s William Cage that has to relive the same day over and over. Oh, and he has to die in order to do so. It does lead to some entertaining comedic moments, but having to see some of the same sequences over and over again does get repetitive after a while.
Over the course of this day, he’s forced to join the front line of an alien war (when he’s never seen combat in action) and he dies almost immediately upon landing on the beach they plan to attack the alien threat. The audience is told through news clip montages at the beginning of the film that Earth fell under attack from an alien species that landed with an asteroid and have been on the brink of losing until a recent small victory. This beach attack could help them win the war, but as seen in Cage’s day, it ends up being a trap and leads to them losing it.
It doesn’t take long to get into the action and the battle at the beach, which has plenty of well-crafted battles and scenes. The design of the aliens themselves is intriguing, especially the way they move, almost like a human size bacteria.
The action isn’t the problem. It’s the way the rest of the cast kind of falls into the background. We meet Emily Blunt‘s Rita Vrataski at the beach, where we find she knows what’s happening to Cage and tells him to “come find me when you wake up.” She’s a tough, strong woman and seems to have a background worth exploring, but we only ever get glimpses of her character. Because of the way it’s set up, Cage has to meet her over and over again to start that relationship again.
There are times when Cage explains how he knows certain things about her and it shows that he has had these moments with Rita, but it all appears to happen off screen. It would have been nice to see some of those moments instead of the more repetitive scenes at the army base camp. Blunt’s particularly great in one scene towards the end when she questions how many times they’ve tried the attack and it’s great because it shows how there are some events that are set and unavoidable.
On the other hand, Cruise’s Cage does go through his own arc and proves that the character can become a hero and make a difference in the war. As the main character, he gets the most time to really grow into his character. It just would’ve made for a stronger film had they worked on the other characters, specifically Blunt’s Rita and Cage’s whole team that fights with them at the end.
For a summer film, it does the job of having the action and explosions and the things required for a popcorn flick. But without that, it’s another slight variation on the usual alien invasion, action film that could do without the overdone character tropes and more character development.
Overall Grade: C+