Film Review: Edge of Tomorrow

by Sam Robinson

Rated M. Starring Tom Cruise, Emily Blunt. Directed by Doug Liman.

[Stars: 3.5/5]

Live. Die. Repeat.

This has been the catchcry plastered across promotional material and trailers for the new sci-fi action flick Edge of Tomorrow. Starring Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt, this is a new spin on time-looping films such as Groundhog Day and Source Code, with the added bonus of aliens.

Edge of Tomorrow is set in the future, where rapidly-twirling-metallic-octopus-like aliens named Mimics have invaded earth and destroyed the majority of Europe. As their name suggests, they’re mighty good at copying the armies that battle them, which makes them near unbeatable. A planned assault on the alien threat is planned on the beaches of France, and Major William Cage (Cruise) finds himself in the front line of battle – despite having no combat experience at all.

The action truly gets underway when Cage kills a Mimic on the beach, and after being covered in the alien’s blood, he ends up trapped in a Groundhog Day situation, sent back in time and forced to relive the day every time he is killed in battle. He seeks answers and discovers soldier Rita Vrataski (Blunt) has the smarts he lacks, and the information he needs to put an end to the monotony.

Edge of Tomorrow is a fairly unique film by way of storytelling and narrative structure. We revisit the action over and over but director Liman keeps mixing things up with a good amount of humour to keep things interesting. It isn’t until the midway point of the film that the action slumps a bit. The Mimic threat and the plan to stop them is all a bit confusing and convoluted and to be perfectly honest, by the end of the movie I was feeling a little underwhelmed. That said, Edge certainly is easier to follow than Cruise’s last confusing sci-fi epic, Oblivion.

Cruise and Blunt are excellent in their roles – it’s so good to see Cruise thrown into a situation where he’s vulnerable! – but the nature of the action means that there’s very little character development. The focus of this movie is on the battle, and there’s plenty of shaky camera to go around.

‘Tomorrow morning you will be baptised. Born again.’

As Cage enters his Groundhog Day for the very first time, this is what he is told by the Master Sergeant (Bill Paxton). Little does he know that this would be reality. Not just once, but again and again. Just like a character in a video game Cage has a seemingly unlimited amount of lives, a cursed immortality. He is reset again and again. Death is not really a threat anymore.

For those who trust in Christ, we are guaranteed new life in him. Not a fleeting rebirth that keeps restarting, but eternal life that never ends: perfect, pure and permanent.1 Peter 1:3-4:

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead and into an inheritance that is imperishable, uncorrupted, and unfading, kept in heaven for you…

God has shown us incredible mercy by allowing us to share in the resurrection of Jesus. Because he has risen to life forever, we can be assured of the new birth we have in Christ. When we die here on earth, we will be raised eternally. Not a multitude of times, no repeating, but raised just once.

Major Cage has no living hope, he knows he’s doomed to die and start over again. But our new birth comes assured, as Jesus has already risen to life and made a way for us to do the same.

Edge of Tomorrow is a fresh and clever concept, but does lose steam quite significantly as the film plays out. I’m giving it three-and-a-half out of five stars.

Edge of Tomorrow is screening now in cinemas everywhere.

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