Saturday, June 21, 2014

[Movie] Edge of Tomorrow

I first knew about this film when I saw the film's poster on a huge billboard while I was riding my motorbike on a freeway. I immediately expected that this movie would be like some sort post-apocalyptic film like 'The Book of Eli' or 'I am Legend'. Turns out, I was wrong. This movie, completely blown my mind. Completely unexpected, and very thrilling. I'm not joking.

But you guys probably already expected something good, especially when Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt were cast together in the movie. For me, I thought it would be another Mission Impossible kind of a movie, like Day and Knight and Oblivion. Well, in a way, it is. But no, this movie is slightly different. How different, you might ask?

When I first watched this movie, my mind was filled with wild speculation. What is this? Clone conspiracy? Simulation gone awry? The story started with Earth being invaded by aliens. And mankind was immediately under the threat of extinction. In a short amount of time, almost the entirety of Europe were conquered.

The alien massacred everyone, no prisoners taken and no cities left standing. Mankind were being pushed across the ocean, well at least on the western front. United Kingdom had become one of Mankind's stronghold, and things doesn't seem very well. The alien, called the Mimic, was winning every single battle like they were meant to. Whatever that mankind was throwing to them, the Mimic was always a step ahead.

Until the Mankind won in the battle of Verdun. In desperation, combined effort and resources, mankind had created a power suit. Extra protection, augmented strength, variety of firepower, the power suits gave a slim yet brightly shining hope, that mankind can win this. And that brings us to Major William Cage (Tom Cruise).

Major Cage is a recruiter, marketing officer if you will. He promotes the new technology of power suits, and convince people to join the army. Unknown to him, things have gotten a little bit more desperate than before, and the United Defense Force intended to throw everything they got in an operation code-named Downfall. And Major Cage was given the honor of joining the first wave.

He tried to weasel his way out, even tried to extort the general. Failed, his rank was stripped, branded as deserter, and was inserted into a reject squad, the J Squad. Whether he like it or not, he is going to be in the first wave of offensive against the Mimic.

So what happened? Oh, he died. He died horribly. Even though he did the promotions and advertise on those power suit, he actually doesn't know how to operate one. He almost got killed because he doesn't know how to switch off his weapon's safeties. But he got killed nonetheless when he tried to use a mine to kill a Mimic. Well, is that all? End of story?

No, you silly. He woke up just right before he got forced into J Squad. And everything went along just like the day he had before.. urmm he died. He tried to warn the others about the failed mission (Operation Downfall was suppose to be a surprise attack) when he told them that the enemy would be waiting for them. And all of them is going to be massacred on the Normandy beach, like in the World War 2. But no one believes him, and everyone thought he just had the pre-mission mental breakdown or something.

But it was real, he was dying, and the day kept repeating itself. He saw the Angel of Verdun, Sergeant Rita Vrataski (Emily Blunt), a veteran from the Battle of Verdun. He figured that if he managed to save Rita, he'll survive a bit longer and see what happened for the rest of the day. Turns out it was really hard and it took him several life just to save Rita and try to lead her out from the beach to safety.

As things kept repeating over and over again, Cage started to be able to use the power suit more efficiently. He even refitted his power suit with more guns, extra ammunition and battery packs, as he grew proficient.

If you guys have watched Groundhog Day starred by Bill Murray, then you'll understand the loop. Something need to be achieved in order to break this crazy cycle. And luckily, Rita knew about this. She recognize Cage's ability similar to precognition, and told him to find her when he woke up again. Cage tried, several times (at one time he was ran over by a truck), and finally manage to meet up with Rita, who then took him to see Dr.Carter.

Both of them explained that what he is having right there, is a time-loop. When he died the first time (by the mine) apparently he was sloshed with a Mimic's blood. A very special and rare Mimic, code-named Alpha. Now, Alpha, can reset the time. Wait no, Alpha can't reset the time, but they can remember what happened when the time is reset. Its the Mimic's high command, the brain, center of the hive mind, called Omega, that can reset back the time. Every time an Alpha died, it will trigger an automatic response where Omega would reset the time back.

A big tentacle monster that will screw you over and over again.
Wait a minute.. what does that even mean? It means, the Mimic, is like those cheating bastard online gamer who seems to have a lot of resources and never loses. They can control time, and every time Mankind had a fighting chance, the Omega reverted the time and start over.

That is why Mankind keep on losing, and Mimics seems to have every possible intel they could possibly want. That is why the Mankind biggest surprise counter attack, Operation Downfall, was ambushed. The Mankind probably managed to surprise the Mimic and push forward toward Paris, but yeah.. the Mimic totally cheated and reset the time.

And that is not all. Mankind's victory in Verdun was actually a calculated move. The Mimics knew that the Mankind had deployed a new technology of power suit, so they decided to let the Mankind won that little battle, enticing Mankind to pour every single drop of their efforts and resources at one point, Operation Downfall.

But Cage being able to tap into the Mimic time resetting program, have not gone unnoticed. Obviously, the Omega would have realized that something other that the Alphas are triggering the time reset auto response. Cage thought, that if he just let the day slide (in other word, he choose to desert right on the eve of the deployment day), then maybe something else good would happened. Turns out he was wrong. Apparently, the Mimic have been more than prepared for the Operation Downfall. Right after United Defense Forces wasted their efforts on the beach of Normandy, the Mimics will launch an all-out attack against the United Kingdom, snuffing out yet another Mankind's resistance that could possibly the last one.

Stuck between trying to change the tide of war, or lie down and face extinction, former Major (now Private) Cage needs to find a way to break this paradoxical loop. With the help of Rita (whom he had to meet, explained, and retell the same story every time the day was reset), Cage have become more matured, pragmatic, and stop being a weasel that he was the day before the loop (when he tried to extort the general).

So yes, this movie is incredible. Old concept, about time loop, just like the Groundhog Day film. Except for the futuristic setting. Not much were being explained, for example like how the Mimics can control time and such, or what it the motive behind the invasion, or what the hell is Mimics because they look a lot like tentacle monster straight from Japanese porn. But all of that is not important.

Despite the replay of the whole scenes, this movie is fast-paced and packed with actions. Loads of explosion, Tom Cruise died countless of times and some even hilariously, and the ending was great. Definitely worth it. In fact, I think I'm going to get a DVD copy for my movie marathon collection.


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