Published on June 16th, 2014 | by Allan Brown2
Edge of Tomorrow Review
Movie Review: Edge of Tomorrow
Running Time: 113 mins
Director: Doug Liman
Writers: Christopher McQuarrie (screenplay), Jez Butterworth (screenplay)
Cast: Tom Cruise, Emily Blunt, Bill Paxton, Brendan Gleeson
At the ripe old age of 50, most Hollywood action stars begin to take their foot of the throttle, invest in a pipe, a pair of slippers, a model girlfriend (30 years their junior) and begin to chill out. But then, this is Tom Cruise we’re talking about. His latest sci-fi, action, blockbuster, from The Bourne Identity director Doug Liman, shows the pint sized film star has no intentions of slowing down his franchise spawning, box-office smashing movie career, just yet. Don’t believe me; let Edge of Tomorrow prove me wrong.
The graphic novel “All You Need Is Kill” by Hiroshi Sakurazaka is the source material for Doug Liman’s eighth directorial feature. This time, despite its obvious and well voiced similarities to films such as Source Code and Groundhog Day, Liman has delivered on bringing something uniquely fresh and exhilarating to what could have easily have been just another run of the mill actioner.
The story follows Major William Cage (Tom Cruise), an officer who, until now, has never seen a day of combat in his life. Instead, his duties have required him to be the slick talking public relations man for the US army. Using well polished propaganda tactics and a false sense of triumph, Major Cage and his news crew jump from one television network to the next. His goal? To lure as many fresh faced recruits as possible for the continued war on the invading alien race (known as mimics) that rages on with little hope of victory.
As it smashes most of your preconceived notions, it will likely leave you anxiously perched at the edge of your seat until those final credits roll.
However, Major Cage’s relatively secure world is turned upside down when General Brigham (Bernard Gleeson) thrusts him onto the front-line as part of a new wave. Without so much as a day’s combat training and despite his exoskeleton robotic suite, Cage is killed within seconds. But just as he dies on the worn torn beach in France, he awakes to find himself reliving the previous day all over again.
Cage soon realises that despite being caught in bizarre time-loop, he can indeed use it to his advantage. As the days roll into weeks, weeks into months and months possibly into years, Cage becomes stronger, wiser and inevitably more strategic and battle conscience. He discovers that with the help of fellow officer Rita Vrataski (Emily Blunt), together they might just be able to win not only the battle, but possibly end the war altogether.
From its huge marketing campaign to its endless TV bites, Edge of Tomorrow may seem like your routine post-apocalyptic Hollywood venture. Fortunately, despite it indeed being a routine post-apocalyptic Hollywood venture, it bags enough smarts to make it stand out amongst the rest, and just as it smashes most of your preconceived notions, it will likely leave you anxiously perched at the edge of your seat until those final credits roll.
Tom Cruise again puts in 100% in another effortlessly enjoyable leading performance. His natural comedic timing, charisma and acting virtuoso will remind many, just how versatile an actor he really is. Indeed, Cruise makes these lighter action roles look so easy and painless at times, that we rarely give him the credit he truly deserves from them.
Cruise makes these lighter action roles look so easy and painless at times, that we rarely give him the credit he truly deserves from them
Emily Blunt also puts in a sterling performance playing against type as Officer, Rita – aka ‘Full Metal Bitch’. While she indeed lives up to her name, the chemistry between her and cruise is perfectly matched, both delivering blockbuster performances whilst relishing in the fun comedic dialogue and stand out action sequences. This aspect of the film adds a much needed light to the often darker bigger picture.
The rest of the cast provide excellent support throughout in some wonderfully unhinged performances, none more so than Bill Paxton (Aliens) and Brendan Gleeson (Calvary). Despite their screen time being relatively short and sweet, both actors certainly make an impact and their verbal jousts with Cruise throughout are nailed to perfection.
The visual effects helmed by Nick Davis (The Dark Knight) and his team are another area Edge of Tomorrow excels in. From the alien design to the scope of the battle sequences (reminiscent of Spielberg’s, Saving Private Ryan) are quite simply spellbinding. Liman and Davis also show a steadfast discipline in handling the tone and look of the film. Juggling a gritty realism with the lighter notes of a 12A family action film is no easy task, and one that rarely works, or is even attempted with such films. However, Davis‘ SFX along with Liman’s steady direction, manage to capture the essence of both with a finesse, in what is arguably the strongest aspects of the film.
Despite the film deserving a more satisfying conclusion, Edge of Tomorrow is what Hollywood science fiction action films are all about, wonderful performances, titillating visuals, snappy dialogue and above all else, GREAT FUN!
Summary: Despite its all too familiar ending, Edge of Tomorrow cements itself as fun Hollywood affair that offers enough laughs, thrills and intelligence to see it stand out from the rest.