Review: Edge of Tomorrow

article-2637334-1E229F2900000578-794_634x669The dazzling actions scenes of Transformers meets the loop in the space-time continuum of Groundhog Day in a perfect blend of heart-pounding action, well-told exposition and occasional touch of humor in Edge of Tomorrow.

Tom Cruise stars as Major William Cage of the United Defense Force, who is involved in the public relations side of an ongoing war with the Mimics, and alien race bent on destroying humanity. After a spat with General Brigham (Brendan Gleeson), Cage is demoted to private and is sent off to England as a ground troop in a large scale invasion against the enemy. The invasion proves disastrous, and Cage perishes while killing an unusually large mimic nicknamed an “alpha.” The killing of this alpha traps Cage in a time loop. In one of the loops, he meets Sergeant Rita Vrataski (Emily Blunt), who has experienced a similar fate before, and helps Cage hone his abilities as a fighter. However, each time Cage dies, everything resets, including the memories of everyone around him.

While Cruise headlines the movie, in reality, the film belongs completely to Blunt. She completely steals the show with her portrayal of Vrataski, though I’m torn as to the gender roles portrayed in the film. On the one hand, Vrataski is portrayed as a highly capable soldier, who is far superior in combat skills to Cage in the early part of the film. She is the one who needs to train and protect a clumsy and mostly inept Cage. On the battlefield, she is ruthless and calculating in her utter dismantling of the enemy, in sharp contrast to societal ideals of women being too fragile for war. But Vrataski still reminds me of Trinity from the Matrix. Though Trinity was Neo’s superior in both rank and combat skills in the beginning of the trilogy, she ultimately played a back seat to Neo in becoming the “chosen one” to save the human race. Vrataski is at her core essentially the same character, and plays second fiddle to Cage’s abilities by the end. Her character seems to be the new paradigm for feminism in Hollywood: Appease women by scripting strong female leads, but ultimately make the male character superior by movie’s end. Continue reading “Review: Edge of Tomorrow”