‘Edge of Tomorrow’ offers clever twist on typical summer blockbuster

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The oft-repeated adage “practice makes perfect” doesn’t usually apply to warfare. When even the tiniest of mistakes can spell doom, every soldier who goes into battle knows he won’t be fighting it again.

In “Edge of Tomorrow,” Maj. William Cage finds himself on the front lines of the attack against the alien invaders dies an (expected) swift and gruesome death in his very first battle. Much to his surprise, he immediately wakes up on the day before the attack. He finds himself living the same day again, and again, and again and … you get the idea. It’s up to Cage to recruit soldiers for the war effort and make them believe they can win it.

“Edge of Tomorrow” follows in the footsteps of films such as “Groundhog Day” and “Source Code,” yet manages to offer its own unique spin on the basic premise of these movies. Though it’s easy to see what influenced director Doug Liman, the film never feels fake or contrived.

A large part of its success is due to excellent performances from Tom Cruise as Cage as well as Emily Blunt, who plays a battle-hardened soldier named Rita. She seems to be the only person willing to believe Cage’s ridiculous situation, and she agrees to train him every day until he can make it off the beach in one piece.

It’s easy to imagine getting tired of “Edge of Tomorrow” when the film’s premise requires it to show the audience the same scene over and over again. However, with each repetition that same scene takes on new meaning and offers a new bit of context for the film as whole.

Throughout the film we see Cage’s successes as well as his many, many failures. There are a few sequences that show him perishing in both grimly humorous and surprisingly gory ways, only to wake up and try again the next day. One of the best aspects of the film is it’s understanding of the morbid sense of humor that an unlimited number of resurrections allows.

As Cage lives the same perilous day over and over, he starts to become the soldier that he should have been in the first place. Perhaps the most satisfying portion of the film is seeing Cage grow as a character from a smooth-talking weasel to the hero that everyone expects a character played by Cruise to be.

For all the punishment that he takes throughout the film, Cage eventually starts dishing it out as well. Though nothing in the film will have your jaw dropping, “Edge of Tomorrow” delivers the action when it needs to.

Few people would accuse the film of being boring, but it very rarely allows Cage to stop and reflect on the magnitude of his situation. With one or two notable exceptions, he spends most of the movie relentlessly training for the same battle.

The biggest disappoint is the film’s final act. Towards the end of the movie, the things that make it unique and intriguing slowly whither away until we’re left with the typical “get to this place and kill this thing” formula.

The ending of the film is especially egregious, as it is nothing short of a total cop-out. Nonetheless, the film’s mediocre final act doesn’t diminish what came before it. “Edge of Tomorrow” is a still a decent action movie with a great premise, and it offers a breath of fresh air in a summer that’s chock full of sequels and reboots.

Connor Kelley is a junior in accounting. Please send comments to edge@kstatecollegian.com.

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