The Battle of Normandy is given a sci-fi update with aliens replacing Nazis and a dash of Groundhog Day, just because.
Cage, played by Tom Cruise, is a coward arrested for defecting. After an incident on the battle field, he’s forced to brave the war and die again and again, infinitum. Rifa, better known as ‘The Full Metal Bitch’ by her peers, trains Cage. Under her rigorous training, he becomes pretty fucking badass, but what’s most interesting about Cage’s development is that due to his blood, he can’t progress in any physical capacity. Every day, he dies. The only thing he carries onto the “next” day are his memories. Physically, he can be no more or less honed since he has only a day to better himself. Thus, his skill is derived from memory.
As a creative person, specifically an image maker, this was a big, big deal to me. Many people mislabel skill as talent. The difference: the former is accumulative while the latter is a birthright. Either one is talented or they are not.
Thus many people cut their possibilities short. They say, “I could never do X, I’m not talented!” In the same way, Cage squawked about his inability to be a soldier for the first third of the film. Yet, he became a soldier. He learned to be one by thinking like one, not by altering his physicality; he added to his skill, he did not rely upon what he was born with. The film argues that skill is attained by practicing enough to memorize exactly what needs to be done, a sentiment I strongly agree with. When Cage can no longer rely upon his freaky alien blood to guide him, that memory serves him well in the form of intuition. He pushes towards the conclusion of the film using the skill that he honed.
In the same way, the living legends of my field weren’t born with ancient power, they are mere mortals, like me, that attained their skill through practice. The arts are straightforward in that way: you will only be as good as the effort you put into the craft. There are no shortcuts, so the best way to get good and to get good fast is to fail and fail again, just as our fast-talking coward failed countless times to reclaim future!Paris from glowing blue aliens.
Edge of Tomorrow was surprising; it was a great film that didn’t take itself too seriously and knew what it wanted to be: a fun action-oriented romp with heart. Tom Cruise is still running from his feelings, but hey - man knows what a fun movie looks like.
But should I watch it? Are you saying you don’t want to see Tom Cruise die repeatedly?