Edge of Tomorrow… Literally

The joys of economy-class air-flight. First find your pen where you will be spending the next eight hours, sitting on a chair that looks like something in your grandparent’s attic. Then it’s time to get accustomed to your surroundings. While the noisy children levels seem down, it is to your dismay that your chair seems to recline automatically when you lean back, leaving me to find the equilibrium between discomfort and the annoyance of the indignant guy behind me.

The one option of food is surprisingly varied. Too varied. I would be happy with a ham sandwich and a plain sponge, but instead I have the random cheese and strange chutney mix with probably some other things in it which I don’t want to know about. And for the movies, be careful what you choose. While Guardians of the Galaxy might seem like a safe choice, most of your viewing experience will be of a black screen with twinges of grey, due to the poor contrast settings.

But in the end, I didn’t have to worry about any of that. I was upgraded.

I had the pleasure of watching the slow procession of passengers passing me, doomed to their hutches in the back, as I smugly sipped on my cool orange juice, casually flicking through the movies. In the end, Edge of Tomorrow seemed like a good choice, taking advantage of the fact the contrast settings needed no angry fiddling to put me in a good mood to watch Edge of Tomorrow on the edge of tomorrow… time-zones are fun!Tom Cruise plays Cage, a public  who is sent to a battle to die due to trying to threaten a General as to not fight in the very same battle. Obviously, he didn’t do a very good job, more-so due to the fact he does in fact die the next day in the battle. Fortunately, he wakes up the next day, back in the camp he woke up in, stripped of his rank and identity. From there, he works with Sergeant Rita Vrataski, Emily Blunt, to use the power to destroy the alien invasion.

Sounds fun, huh? But it would have been too easy for him just to relive the day over and over again until he succeeds. There is one extremely serious rule: he can’t get a blood transfusion. Yeah, it still seems too easy, but that’s our film.

When I started to watch the film, I was worried I was going to get confused by paradoxes and other timey-wimey things. I just want to clear up first that no, the film keeps everything simple. Die tomorrow, live again the day before. That’s it. I don’t want to spoil the ending either, but if you are expecting some cheesy twist or Inception-style ending, I’m happy to tell you that you can have the IQ of the writers of Disaster Movie and still understand.

Another thing that makes Cage’s extended time more frustrating is his inability to fight and Rita’s involvement. Originally, I thought that Rita was reliving the experiences with him. Actually, she lost the power a battle beforehand, so with each new day, Cage has to escape from his squad, find Rita and explain over and over again what is happening.

His inability to fight helps in developing the character and drawing out Cage’s time. He is put through a training program that is literally lethal, having Rita blow out his brains every time he breaks his back or leg like he’s an injured dog. Funny, I do admit, but we see him develop his fighting ability slowly so that they can progress to the battlefield.

The pace is slow, but everything is still interesting enough to keep you engrossed.For example, his attempts by him trying to save someone, dying in the process, then going back to successfully save that person on the second time. It underlines how much Cage has been through, having to co-ordinate what Rita has to do for each day, only to have them progress a little bit for her to die again and again in front of him. That can’t be good for his mental health.

Special effects were great. The enemy, Mimics, reminded me of the robots from The Matrix. Their movements were fluid, but they were more animalistic, breaking soldiers like Leonardo Di Caprio’s dreams of winning an Oscar. I would have liked to see more gritty visuals in Cruise’s deaths (his first one being pretty gruesome) but blood is kept to a minimum, which was a downer on my inner blood-lust… shut up, that’s not creepy. I missed Halloween…

Cage and Rita’s relationship is great, bearing in mind Rita forgets him every death. It’s hard to see Rita every day, her not knowing what they’ve been through together ever tomorrow. Very poetic. And one part (which I will try not to spoil, but if you’re dead against knowing anything about the film then do not read on) he comes to a point where progressing on leaves him with an obstacle that he cannot overcome the way he wants to. He knows that there are only a few inevitable conclusions (having replaying it again and again), and he doesn’t want any of them.

I’d probably finish in saying that Edge of Tomorrow is like the hardest video game ever, with you having to memorise every step to progress to the next level. Cage has to test the waters and find the best path on his own. The film incorporates themes of kinship, loss, and the horrors of war to create a realistic atmosphere with humor in moderation to provide a good relief and keep the film feeling fresh. For a film that repeats the same day, the use of different environments, varied characters, and action-packed scenes keep the film from dawdling, providing an uncomplicated sci-fi that anyone can enjoy.

Back to school. Yay. And spending the rest of the day doing homework. Back to it I guess. I’m releasing an update sometime this week. Stay tuned.