This one I recommend.

Wars in the future; you gotta love them.

Wars in the future; you gotta love them.

Fun and smart; refreshing

Fun and smart; refreshing

Everyone else on this planet has already pointed out that the recent Tom Cruise flick Edge of Tomorrow is basically Groundhog Day meets Oblivion. What it’s more rarely compared to, though, is the novel version of Starship Troopers, as well as an even more similar short story from escapepod.net, titled “Run” Bakri Says. Both are stories which my father found Edge of Tomorrow greatly similar to.

People have also cited films like Saving Private Ryan, Source Code and Aliens as likely sources of inspiration for this movie and if I’m not mistaken, there was even a bit of Pacific Rim in there. However, much like last year’s Oblivion, the film strangely manages to feel refreshing and intelligent, in spite of drawing inspiration from so many places. Perhaps, I wondered after seeing it, that was the main charm.

In the film, five years have passed since Earth came under attack by an alien race referred to as “Mimics”. Tom Cruise plays Major William Cage, a not so brave fella who is ordered by one General Brigham (Brendan Gleeson) to partake in the fight on what’s essentially a futuristic D-day, where a newly invented type of battle-exoskeletons will be utilized against the Mimics. Cage refuses, which ends up getting him arrested and knocked unconscious. When he wakes up, he’s a private in boot camp, answering to Master Sergeant Farell (Bill Paxton), and part of the force that will engage in the aforementioned D-day reenactment. But it gets stranger than that.

On the day of the attack, Cage is killed. Then he wakes up in the exact spot he woke up in the day before. It also happens to be the exact same day, meaning he goes through the same conversations and eventually the same battle where he, you guessed it, dies and wakes up one the day before yet again. As he goes through this same day over and over and slowly begins to realize what’s going on, he seeks out a tough-as-nails and greatly admired warrior, Sergeant Rita Vrataski (Emily Blunt), who understands what has happened to him. It turns out, you see, that she was once like him! With the help of a bearded scientist played by Noah Taylor, the two of them soon figure out how to solve everything.

Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt in 'Edge of Tomorrow'.

Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt in ‘Edge of Tomorrow’.

What’s fascinating about the story isn’t just to watch Tom Cruise’s character learn to be tougher and smarter the more times he travels back in time, but it’s also the relationship between him and Emily Blunt’s character. Rita has lost her ability to travel back to a certain day after her deaths so every time Cage goes back to the same day another time for more training and planning, she still has to go through the motions of getting to know him, whereas Cage has, from his own POV, known Rita for several weeks in a row.

Cage eventually starts proving to Rita how well he knows her, in spite of her only having known him for a day or so, by reciting personal facts she shared with him during one of his previous trips back in time, and it makes you wonder how Rita must feel about Cage. Can you love someone who knows you that deeply even though you’ve only just met them? Can you feel like you’ve known a person for longer than you really have? Who knows?

Edge of Tomorrow is not only thought-provoking, though. It is also fun as all heck and works from a very interesting sci-fi concept. There are some things about it that won’t make much sense once you start thinking about them in your car on the way home from the theatre, but little nitpicks like that practically come natural when it’s time travel we’re talking about.

The design of the aliens is another refreshing aspect. The Mimics don’t look like the Cloverfield knock-offs we’ve seen in so many other recent sci-fi movies like Super 8, After Earth and, as much as I hate to admit it, the Godzilla reboot. Instead they look more like unimaginable sea creatures; something you’d see Ze Frank do a True Facts video on at some point. They’re interesting and at times even terrifying, as they should be.

So, the movie offers effective cinematography, has a unique chemistry between the two leading actors, includes the best performance I’ve seen from Cruise in a while, provides otherwise great acting from the likes of Blunt and Paxton, includes some really cool futuristic designs (I like the exoskeleton suits especially), has intense action sequences, tells a suspenseful and smart story and features some really nice music to go along with it. I’d say those are enough reasons for you to purchase a seat or two. If you don’t, you can always try to die and see if you wake up on opening weekend. Maybe you’ll help it stand a chance against The Fault In Our Stars?

4.5/5 whatever