Movies: Edge of Tomorrow

I don't play video games, but I've watched my kids play them often enough to know how it goes: You die and get thrown back to a "save point." And that's pretty much this movie.

Tom Cruise is Major Cage, and he's also a major coward. Aliens have taken over a large chunk of Europe, and there is an ongoing war to defeat them. But when the United Defense Force tries to send Cage to the front lines, he attempts to defect. Only to get arrested and sent to the front anyway.

Turns out the aliens have advance knowledge of the coming attack. Cage dies and finds himself thrown back to that "save point." After this happens a few times, he gets the attention of Rita (Emily Blunt), known as "The Angel of Verdun." She helped turn the tide of the war, or so it seems.

Except, as things unspool (and re-spool), we find out Rita had the same thing happen to her as Cage is having happen now: she relived that day again and again until she "got it right." And even then, Rita is convinced the aliens allowed the humans to win.

At this point we get the mumbo jumbo about how killing an Alpha alien and getting its blood on you gives you a kind of power to reset the day and start again if you die. And how it also links you to the Omega, the central "brain" of the aliens to which they're all telepathically connected. If Cage, who was killed by an Alpha, can use his power to figure out where the Omega is located, they have a chance to go kill it and end the war for good. In the meantime, living the day over and over (and being the only one with the ability to remember, kind of like that awesome episode of Stargate: SG-1), gives Cage the chance to train and become combat ready. Just like how, in a video game, if you do it enough times you can anticipate the moves, act and react appropriately, and get further along.

Really, there's a class of movie that forces a person to just say, "Yeah, okay, whatever. I'll just go with it." And Edge of Tomorrow is one of those. It sets up an internal logic of sorts, and one pretty much just has to take it on a certain amount of faith (without looking too hard) that it makes sense. So long as the movie adheres to its own rules, okay, fine.

So I was with it up until the end. It seems the drive for a "happy ending" forced them to step outside their own logic. Or maybe I just didn't connect the dots. See [spoiler alert], Cage does finally kill the Omega. Rita is killed during the same mission. But after Cage kills the Omega, an Alpha lashes out and . . . Cage is able to reset time again? So he wakes up at a different save point earlier even than before.

And yet the war is already won? Because the Omega has been killed. Except it hasn't already been killed, has it? If this is the past?

I guess one could argue that Cage got the power from the Alpha after the Omega's death, so . . . Well, but didn't the Alpha's power originate with the Omega anyway? If the Omega is dead, there should be no "Kronos power," or whatever you want to call it.

I dunno. The whole point of this ending is clearly to allow Cage and Rita to have their lives back and probably some kind of relationship. But I have trouble respecting the decision to circumvent the movie's own internal rules just for that. (Please, if I'm missing something, enlighten me in the comments.)

All in all, an entertaining movie that was more or less exactly as expected.

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