Customer Review

48 of 64 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Awesome Burger with Cheese, June 21, 2014
This review is from: Live Die Repeat: Edge of Tomorrow (Amazon Instant Video)
Heroes are not born!

Contrary to what some people might think, none of us are born to be anything. We become who we are through action and circumstance. And the act of becoming is what makes human beings so compelling.

Eleven years ago (2003) The Last Samurai was released into theatres. The movie starred Tom Cruise as an emotionally distraught and destructive American soldier, who with the help of a clan of Samurai in 19th century Japan, transforms himself into a man who is multilingual, brave, honorable, self-sacrificing, and durable. It is easily one of Tom Cruise's four or five best performances because he was able to realistically portray the evolution and maturation of a human being; and this evolution is what made Cruise's character so watchable. Another eleven years would pass before Tom was asked to portray another character, who when faced with a series of inescapable circumstances, is forced to grow and change.

Subsequent to the release of the Last Samurai and prior to the release of the Edge of Tomorrow, Tom Cruise had starred in a succession of films; and none of these films have required him to stretch his acting skills. In the Mission Impossible Movies, Jack Reacher, Oblivion, Collateral etc., Tom Cruise's performances have pretty much been one-note. A typical Tom Cruise movie usually starts off with him being the stoic hero or the stoic villain who meets a girl, and the movie ends with him being the stoic hero or the stoic villain who snags the girl. The movies are pretty awesome, but after a while stoic and heroic Tom Cruise becomes redundant and boring. Cruise's performance in the Edge of Tomorrow turns against this type, and I loved it.

In the Edge of Tomorrow Cruise is Major William Cage, an officer in the armed forces who is averse to military combat. Cage, along with the rest of the planet earth, is faced with an extremely dire circumstance: an apocalyptic invasion by a race of beings called mimics. Cage is bereft of the courage that is required of an officer in the army, and so, when he is conscripted to join his fellow soldiers in combat Major Cage does all that he can to escape this fate. But General Brigham (Brendon Gleason) will have none of that, and before long Major Cage finds himself quartered amongst a group of rambunctious soldiers at an army base. To his horror Major Cage realizes that he will actually see combat.

There is not much hope for Major Cage, and earth's plan to fight back against the alien invaders is lacking as well. Major Cage knows nothing about military combat (he does not know how to load his gun) and the alien invaders already know about the humans' plans for retribution. The alpha mimics have the power to travel back in time, and they use this power to inform the other mimics of the enemy's battle plans. Cage quickly proves to be inept in the battle field; therefore, it is not long before he meets his end. While in the clutches of a terrifying alpha mimic Cage lets lose a grenade which kills the alien, but Cage himself is killed as the blood of the alpha mimic burns right through his skin. However, Cage seems to be blessed with some luck. The blood of the alpha has given Cage the power to escape death. After dying for the first time Cage suddenly awakens to find out that he is stationed at that same military airbase, and before long he realizes that he is going to have to relive that same fateful battle.

Cage finds himself living in a continuous loop of waking up after dying in battle; however, Cage is a learner, who after being repeatedly exposed to the exact same circumstance becomes a little bit smarter, braver, and lives a little bit longer each time. The death of the female soldier Rita Vrataski (Emily Blount), who is the face of the resistance against the aliens, forces Cage into action. On the next loop Cage tries to help Rita escape her certain death. During their exchange it dawns on Rita that Cage has been blessed with the power that she once was able to utilize, and she instructs Cage to "come find me when you wake up."

Emily Blount's character is akin to Ken Watanabe's character in the Last Samurai. Rita trains Cage to be combat ready, and together they collaborate on their own plan to destroy the aliens once and for all. Each time Rita and Cage meet on that beach for battle they inch closer to their goal of destroying the Omega (the brains of the operation) alien together. But after successive attempts to save Rita from certain death do not come to fruition, Cage, who is now a badass warrior, decides that he alone must face a death that is certain so that Rita and humanity can survive. Cage's evolution from a cowardly deserter to a heroic and self-sacrificing good man is complete.

The Edge of Tomorrow movie is an awesome burger with double cheese. The special effects were incredible, the action is exhilarating, the pace is perfect, and the acting of all of the principles is top notch. The plot of the movie was not original, but the way that it ls executed made it seem as if I've never seen a movie like this before. Tom Cruise's performance was really refreshing. Just as he did in the Last Samurai, Cruise is asked to navigate a role that requires a realistic portrayal of a man's growth and maturation, and he pulls it off convincingly. This is Cruise's best performance in years, and I really hope that he decides to take on even more complex characters in the future. He has the talent to do so.
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Showing 1-5 of 5 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jul 14, 2014 11:44:28 AM PDT
Thank you so much for making a reference to The Last Samurai, which i held as Cruise's best film, until I saw this. Thanks for the review!

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 19, 2014 10:02:41 AM PDT
Cool Breeze says:
Your welcome Jared. Thank you for your response.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 29, 2014 1:04:31 AM PDT
J. Jones says:
What movies would you rate as Cruise's best? I would guess that The Last Samurai and Edge of Tomorrow are on that list, but what else? Interview with the Vampire?

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 30, 2014 6:33:53 AM PDT
Cool Breeze says:
I really liked him in Magnolia, Born on the Fourth of July, Minority Report, and Jerry MaGuire. In all of these movies it seems as if he is suffering through an existential crisis of some kind.

Posted on Aug 22, 2014 9:22:24 AM PDT
E. Aleman says:
I have to disagree about Cruise's performance being one-note. He steals the movie with his steely, cold, methodical assassin role, who suddenly starts having everything getting out of control and clashing with this Average Joe (played by Jamie Foxx) who, by doing what's right, ends up messing up his plans. That movie is Top Five Best Tom Cruise performance shoe-in.
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