Director: Doug Liman
Running time: 113 mins
Cast: Tom Cruise, Emily Blunt, Bill Paxton, Brendan Gleeson
Summer 2014 so far has been somewhat of a disappointment in terms of big action movies. Godzilla was mostly a snoozefest and X-Men: Days of Future Past was average at best. So why would an original concept that hasn’t been marketed as heavily or been as hyped by film fans be any different? Well it just is, OK? I could just leave the review there but that wouldn’t do this gem of a movie justice. Edge of Tomorrow is a fun, high-concept, sci-fi romp in the same vein as Groundhog Day or Source Code. While Groundhog brought the laughs and Source Code took a serious spin on the subject, EoT hits a sweet spot in between.
The plot is simpler than you might imagine. Cowardly Major, Bill Cage (Tom Cruise) is sent to the front-line of a war against an alien force known as the Mimics that threatens the entire Earth. While involved in the assault on a French beach, Cage is killed in action. Instead of being the shortest Tom Cruise film ever made, Cage wakes up one day earlier to do the whole thing again. The questions are about how this has happened and how it may help in the war effort. After the concept is explained, we’re introduced to Rita Vrataski (Emily Blunt) a kick ass war hero who will train Cage to fulfill his full potential and go from zero to hero.
Its a silly story but fortunately EoT doesn’t take itself overly serious. Unlike other science-fiction films I could mention this film doesn’t disappear up its own ass *cough…Elysium*. Much of the humour is to be had in the ways Cage dies including a broken spine, drowning, explosions, bullets, and in one very funny scene, death by truck. Where Source Code focused on tragedy, EoT revels in its bold futuristic vision. This is helped in large part by the two leads Cruise and Blunt. Cruise is immensely likable as the chickenshit military media man thrust into a war he was actively trying to avoid, while Blunt is excellent as a hard ass warrior woman who carries a huge Final Fantasy style sword into combat. Known as the ‘Full Metal Bitch’, this is no damsel in distress, and she more than holds her own against any of the male characters.
Which brings me to the action which is routinely great. The main battle that is relived time and time again is a near future D-Day landing with utter chaos occurring all over each frame as soldiers battle the Mimics in uber-cool combat exoskeletons. The aliens are decent appearing similar to the Sentinels in The Matrix trilogy but with a far higher body-count. Sand and dirt is spat up by the carnage putting you right in Cage’s shoes as the conflict rages on. The effects are great with the film having a dirty, used, real feel instead of a shiny, clean future look.
Edge of Tomorrow exceeds on many levels mainly in acting, lightness of tone and action. The story-line does become less interesting as the movie progresses but is nevertheless always entertaining. Action-light scenes are lifted with humour and the chemistry between Cruise and Blunt is a pleasure to witness. It succeeds where the other summer blockbusters have failed by being distinct and original and most of all fun. Edge of Tomorrow is director Doug Liman’s best movie since The Bourne Identity and comes highly recommended to action sci-fi fans. Go see it.
Screenkicker Quality Index (SQI)