FILM FANS: Tom Cruise film ‘Edge of Tomorrow’ has interesting premise

EDITOR’S NOTE: Film Fans features local residents reviewing the movie of the week: “Edge of Tomorrow.” Want to be a film fan? Email features@gwinnettdailypost.com.

3 out of 4 stars

What happens when the past just won’t stay in the past, but becomes your future — over and over again? And if you learn enough from your past, can you actually CHANGE the future? This is the intriguing premise for the latest Tom Cruise sci-fi thriller, “Edge of Tomorrow.”

An alien race nicknamed “Mimics” have launched a brutal war on the human race, starting in Europe. Cruise plays Maj. William Cage, a public relations officer in the U.S. Army who is sent to London to help sell the war to the civilian populations marshaling their forces against the invaders. The British general in charge of a massive D-Day type invasion of coastal France (Brendan Gleeson, aka Mad-Eye Moody of the “Harry Potter” flicks) decides that Cage will do a better sales job if he is embedded with the first wave of the assault, so he sends the unwilling Cage to suit up with the troops. A natural-born coward, Cage tries every way he can to avoid the combat but soon finds himself in the thick of the battle. Allied forces come under heavy fire from the Mimics, who seem to know their every move in advance — and for good reason, since their leader, the Omega, can control time. When Cage inadvertently blasts one of the middle-management Mimics to bits, he dies but gets doused with its blood, which then psychically links him with the aliens and puts him into a time loop. During the battle, he also discovers Sgt. Rita Vrataski (Emily Blunt), who once had this “gift” but has lost it. Together, they time-jump from one scenario to the next; with each occurrence, they learn a bit more how to outflank this unbeatable enemy.

This movie was like “Saving Private Ryan” meets “Groundhog Day” meets “Independence Day.” It features intense combat scenes and lots of mayhem. Cruise does a good job of playing Cage as he is gradually transformed from a slick PR guy into a fighting machine whose skills grow with each death and reincarnation. Blunt is OK as Rita, but there’s zero chemistry between her and Cruise. There is a lot of humor in the film, as Cruise’s character has to deal with the bewilderment of repeating the same experiences in the time loop. “Edge of Tomorrow” has the chops to be a major movie event this year and maybe even worth a repeat trip to the cinema … get it?

— Tim Weekley, Suwanee

3 out of 4 stars

“Edge of Tomorrow” is a very appropriate commemoration of the D-Day battles on the beaches of France mashed up with the concept of video gaming spawning or restarting a character at the level where it previously died. This sci-fi version of “Groundhog Day” is well made and its plot twists through an alien invasion of Mimics who can figure out the future is quite interesting. Many moviegoers delight in the way Tom Cruise is punished and delivered as the plot is peeled one layer at a time. The other main character, Emily Blunt as Rita the Angel of Verdun, was instrumental in delivering this high stakes movie.

As a viewer, the movie has three distinct parts; the figuring out of the time loop, the disclosure initiated when Rita tells Tom’s character Cage to meet her when he wakes up and the deliverance portion of how to outsmart the aliens. Of all three parts, the weakest link is the third. After a slow buildup of discovering what the movie is all about, the end rushes into closing the film’s unfinished plot twists in what seems to be a very short time — or was it another time loop? Thank God the ending was very satisfying and hopefully we will not ever see a sequel.

— Alfred Richner, Duluth