Day 302: Edge of Tomorrow

Edge of Tomorrow

Today’s first was postponed, due to a flat tire and a lengthy repair. That’s okay. That first is rescheduled, and if it works out, great. And if not, great! What I’ve learned this year is to go with the flow and not question a change in plans. Another first always appears. When a plan falls apart late in the day, as this one did, I turn to movies I haven’t seen yet, as my default first. I love movies, and there are plenty I haven’t seen! This works well for me and is enjoyable at the same time.

Edge of Tomorrow stars Tom Cruise, Emily Blunt, Bill Paxton and Brandon Gleeson. It was directed by Doug Liman and is based on a Japanese novel, “All You Need is Kill”, by Hiroshi Sakurazaka. This sci-fi, action film is rated PG-13 for intense action, violence, and mild language and has a run time of 1 hour and 53 minutes.

This action packed movie is set in the near future and finds the world under attack by a relentless race of insect-like aliens. Europe is falling and troops gather under the command of General Brigham (Gleeson) for an all out assault. The fate of the world hinges on the success of this battle.

An American, Major William Cage (Cruise), who has never seen combat, arrives to document the day of battle as a media correspondent. He is forced into active duty, accompanying the troops, under the direction of Master General Farrell (Paxton), to the front lines, where he dies within minutes. Before his death, he kills a member of the alien race, called an Alpha, and finds himself inexplicably thrown into a time loop, reliving the same day over…and over…and over…and over. And dying over…and over…and over…and over. He meets Special Forces warrior Rita Vrataski (Blunt), who recognizes what’s happening to Cage, because she has also experienced the time loop. Together, the two move through the day, repeatedly, training, discovering a way to win the war, planning, trying and failing, trying again and getting further, before failing again.

After hundreds of attempts, reliving the same day and learning how to go further with each attempt, the two reach a point in their journey that they have never reached before. Cage loses his ability to reset the day, just as Vrataski did before him, and now they must complete their mission, knowing this is their last chance to succeed, or lose the war, and the world.

I like sci-fi movies. And this combination of Groundhog Day and Ender’s Game was excellent! It was well acted, intense, and edgy with just enough quirky humor included to bring the tension down a notch occasionally. The scenario that repeats over and over, with the characters getting a bit further with each attempt, learning and adapting as they go, reminded me of video games that my kids and now my grandkids play. They charge forward. And die. They adjust, try a different tactic, move forward again, going further. And die. They continue in this fashion until they clear the level, rescue the princess, win the battle.

The tagline for this movie is Live. Die. Repeat. It is a very fitting description for the film! The director uses clever ways of showing that the day has reset, without the tedium of having to go through the entire day again. I found myself wondering how many times the characters had relived the day, advancing and dying. Only Cage knows. He hints that it’s been hundreds and hundreds of times. I watched his character transform from a man who was afraid of battle, and dying, to a man who trained and learned and kept going, completely losing his fear of death. There is a nice twist at the end of the movie, that left me smiling. Some films make me think deeply. Some provide fresh insight and perspective for my journey. And some, like this one, are pure entertainment, and yet when a film brings a tear to my eye or a smile to my lips, it has served its purpose.

Edge of Tomorrow 2