“Through readiness and discipline,
we are masters of our fate.”
The exposition for this film (which is more prominently labelled Live. Die. Repeat.
on the Blu-ray cover, the tagline from the posters, but retains the Edge of Tomorrow
title in the credits), starts even before studio logos have cycled through, with tiny clips of TV coverage explaining that tentacly and clairvoyant aliens have overrun much of Europe and that only the development of new battlesuits has stopped them from crossing over to Britain (and, ultimately, the rest of the world).
Tom Cruise plays William Cage, a US military officer whose job is not to fight, but to disseminate propaganda about the war effort on television talk shows. When a general orders him to cover a large-scale invasion of France from the front, Cage reveals his cowardice and lack of compassion for regular soldiers. All his attempts to weasel out of the assignment achieve, though, is a deployment to the very tip of the charge. Without his rank or job protecting him, and because the enemy somehow knows of the surprise attack in advance, Cage promptly… dies. Horribly. Within minutes of touching down.
And then he wakes up again, a day earlier, with the memories leading up to his death intact. The reason: he came in contact with one of the aliens’ blood during his death. But nobody believes him, so on to battle he goes… to die again. And again. He knows what’s coming, to a degree, but no matter how he changes his ever-renewing present, he still always winds up dead. Continue reading
I don’t go to the cinema often for this kind of film. Or any kind of film, really. I’m quite content with waiting half a year and purchasing a copy on DVD or Blu-ray, a copy I can watch whenever I want, which I can pause and rewind, and where I am in control of who I watch the film with. I also prefer not to be subjected to 30 minutes (!) of commercials before the film starts, which was the case here.
And while I enjoy generic action films as much as the next person, I’m not all that interested in spectacle for spectacle’s sake. If a film only works in a darkened theatre with a huge screen and surround sound, the more important qualities – like acting and screenplay – are probably nothing to write home about. So, normally I would not have watched Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol in a cinema, especially because it’s missing the extra kick of 3D and I wasn’t able to watch it in IMAX. Tom Cruise managed to rope me in for one reason only, a name: Brad Bird.
As far as I’m concerned, Brad Bird is among the greatest writer/directors working today. I’m not really comfortable with declaring ranked best-of lists, but if you put a gun to my head, I would probably tell you that Ratatouille (2007) is my favourite film of all time, and The Incredibles (2004) and The Iron Giant (1999) wouldn’t be far behind. So I really had no choice: Bird put out a movie, so I had to watch it as soon as possible, if only because every dollar the film makes is another argument in favour of giving the man carte blanche for his next project, written and directed by Bird, which is what I really want to see. I called him a writer/director for a reason.