Live, Die, Repeat
Rating: 2 out of 5
It’s another war of the worlds for actor Tom Cruise. I suspect it’s probably on war he wished he skipped. On the movie cover and flyer for the film it also has the title – Live, Die, and Repeat; live, die and bury it is more appropriate. Cruise is a great action star; no doubt about it. His performance and the special effects are the only redeeming qualities to this movie. The plot would be fine if it were not for all the holes in the story big enough to drive a truck through.
The earth is invaded by a horde of aliens with a hive-mind relationship. The bulk of the aliens look like smaller versions of the tentacle creatures from The Matrix movie trilogy. The bigger more dangerous baddies glow an electric-blue hue, and if you kill one and get its blood into your system, you find yourself in Ground Hog Day (a reference to the Bill Murray’s movie where he keeps repeating the same day until he gets it right). That’s the situation Cruise finds himself in, over and over again; lives – learns – dies – lives again – learns more – dies repeatedly until the film ends.
Way Too Many Holes
To start with a U.S. Army public affairs officer (PAO) assigned to a British General is told that he (PAO) is to go with the troops to the front-lines of a battle so that he can report and sell the war to the public; that’s a realistic and not uncommon. When Major Cage (Tome Cruise) tells the General that he (Cruise) is in the American Army and not subject to the General’s orders, the General tells him that the American commander has approved orders assigning Cage to the British General’s command. The General tells Cruise he can keep his rank as a Major.
First Big Hole
Real World: When a military member from one nation is assigned to work for another nation in any circumstance the gaining command does not get to decide whether or not the service member gets to keep their rank. If a gaining command of one nation has a disciplinary issue with an officer of another nation, that officer is returned to the original nation with a recommendation for an investigation and disciplinary action.
Second Big Hole
For the American officer to tell a General officer that he refuses to take the mission and furthermore attempts to blackmail the General into not making him (PAO) go to the front-line is absurd. Then when the General decides to arrest this American officer, then strips him of all his insignia, rank, and identification and has him thrown into a group of recruits as a private with papers that say he is a deserter goes to the point of being ridiculous.
British military and the U.S. military officers receive their commissions from their nation’s government. The British cannot demote a U.S. officer and the U.S. cannot demote a British officer. You can’t throw an Army officer into a joint force group of troops and not have the truth come out as to the Army officer real identity no matter how many twists the writers put in the story.
Now Private Cage, formerly Major Cage (Cruise), is thrown into a squad of apparent rejects that look like they belong in a situation-comedy (sit-com) caste, not an army about to face a deadly foe. Actor Bill Paxton plays Master Sergeant Farrell, the man in charge of our motley crew. When the now Private Cage is turned over to MSG Farrell, Cruise asks Paxton if he is an American, Paxton replies “no he’s from Kentucky.” I’m guessing that is supposed to be a sarcastic shot against people from Kentucky. Paxton is convinced that Cruise is just another deserter and a coward. Seriously, we are supposed to believe that a deserter is going to be put in a unit to fight a battle instead of sitting in a prison under arrest?
Third Big Hole
No matter how good an actor Tom Cruise is, he just doesn’t make a convincing cowardly soldier. Cruise, a private with no training in the use of a robo-suit he has to wear and fight in, is loaded into an assault aircraft and expected to jump out of in order to fight an enemy he apparently knows little to nothing about. He’s never told how to fire the weapons integrated into his armor and even more, he is never told how to release (turn-off) the weapon’s safety.
Each time Cruise goes into battle he gets killed; however, whatever he learned in the previous life he carries with him into the new life. No matter how many times Cruise is killed and returns to the same point in time, tells people what he knows of the future, proves that he knows things he could not know unless he had been there, met these people, could tell them what they were going to say and do before they did it – no one accept our Emily Blunt believes him. No one else thinks that there is something to his story.
But all this back and forth, while Cruise learns more and more, gains better fighting skills, reacquaints himself with Emily Blunt’s character and must convince her they been through this before. Go into battle together, get killed again and again, returns to the point he’s in hand-cuffs and handed off to Paxton, again and again and again.
Yet, that throws a head-scratcher into the story problem: Why does Cruise come back to that specific time when he has been arrested by the General and stripped of his rank? The question is pertinent because of what happens in the end of the film [Spoiler Alert] when Cruise dies and returns at the point before he ever meets the British General. The aliens are on the run and nobody except Cruise knows the real story; not even Blunt.
And for another head-scratcher, after Cruise and Blunt go through a hundred or more iterations of live, die, repeat, they finally solve the mystery of what they need to do to defeat the aliens. They go to the General to get a device he has locked up in his office, a device the General had already been told could be the key to defeating the aliens. Cruise and Blunt sneak into the General’s office and do their little thing of demonstrating that they know what he is going to do, who is calling him on the phone, and what his secretary forgot to do; all in an effort to convince him that there is a time loop aspect to this alien invasion and that the enemy knows about the General’s attack plan. And oh yes, the General addresses Cruise by his real rank, Major, thus making it very clear that he (the General) is a contemptible idiot. The General calls Cruise’s fore-knowledge a cute parlor trick. He then tells our two heroes that he is trying to figure out what they are really up to. Cruise and Blunt explain to the General that a device stored in the General’s safe can be used to defeat the enemy. The General opens the safe and hands the device to Cruise. Now the two heroes start out of the office and guess what – the General has sent his troops after Cruise and Blunt. Waiting outside the building, the guards attack and try to kill our two heroes or at least stop them from leaving.
Sorry writers, that makes no sense at all. If the General did not want them to leave with the device, why did he hand it to them in the first place? I realize that many movie makers and script writers like to make military leaders, especially Generals, look like contemptible idiots, but that practice in this plot is simply annoying and a waste of time. Why would the General make a point to call Blunt his best soldier, then try and have her stopped or killed along with Cruise. It does not make sense.
Here is a Review Posted on YouTube by Grace Randolph
Overall the movie was barely watchable. It’s only redeeming quality is Tom Cruise’s acting. Seeing him play a hero is easy since his past action flicks such as Mission Impossible franchise are well done and fun to watch. The special effects in the Edge of Tomorrow are decent and somewhat make up for all the lameness of the plot. The moments that should be funny – are not. Cruise tries to make it work, but bad writing is just that, bad writing. With all that said, watch at your own risk. If you’re a Tom Cruise fan – go ahead and watch for that reason only. If you’re a science-fiction fan – sorry, it’s a bit painful to watch; if you’re military or former military – OUCH.