Edge Of Tomorrow Review

Edge Of Tomorrow

It’s official, Tom Cruise is Hollywood’s Duracell bunny. He just keeps going and going and going.

No sooner have you wiped Oblivion from your mind, he’s back in yet another futuristic sci-fi actioner, Edge Of Tomorrow.

The film is based on a Japanese comic book called All you need is Kill, which for my money is a far better title.

The story follows Cruise’s Major William Cage, a bumbling media relations officer for the US army who finds himself inadvertently propelled towards enemy lines in a future war between humans and aliens.

If you’re the type of person who would gladly see Tom Cruise killed off early in a movie, then you’re in luck.

On his first day, Cage meets a messy end during battle.

The twist is he immediately wakes up twenty four hours earlier.

Cage then finds himself trapped in an unenviable predicament: every time he dies, he wakes up to re-start his final day all over again.

Think Saving Private Ryan mixed with Groundhog Day, and add a dash of Starship Troopers. Right down to the beach landings, manic depression and giant alien monsters.

Along the way, Cage encounters fellow soldier Rita Vrataski (Emily Blunt), a war hero who might just understand what he’s going through.

Oh and there’s some hokey bit about an alien power source which may prove hard to swallow. But the end game is clear: Cage and Vrataski need to somehow win the war, and Cage’s new-found ability might just be the ticket.

Doug Liman famously gave the action genre a shot in the arm with The Bourne Identity some twelve years ago. Here, he continues to show that he can put a fresh spin on a big budget picture.

The story is engrossing, the set pieces are well paced and there are flashes of inspired humour interspersed throughout.

Every angle of the time loop gimmick is explored and the gears nicely shift up a notch every time Cage’s Déjà Vu feels a little overplayed.

As Cage, Cruise is solidly supported by Blunt as hardened veteran Vrataski, and there’s a fun turn from good ol’ Bill Paxton as a Kentuckian drill-sergeant type.

The ending admittedly treads towards cliché territory but the rest of the film compensates.

The main let-down is the alien army, who come flying at the screen like mutant starfish. On crack.

As antagonists, they lack any sort of character and amount to little more than just a manic invention of the special effects team.

As such, the feeling of jeopardy is lessened and the driving emotion of the film becomes empathy with Cage’s situation rather than boo-hiss hatred towards his foes.

And by Cage’s situation, I basically mean that of a video game character who must return to the start of the level every time he loses a life. Frustrating or what?

Fortunately this is enough of an audience hook, whether you’re a Cruise fan or not.

If this is an indication of the calibre of this year’s summer blockbusters, then an enjoyable season lies ahead.

Conor Brennan

One Response to “Edge Of Tomorrow Review”
  1. avatar John McHale says:

    Excellent review Conor. I think I found the ending more anger inducing than you, as it’s simply unforgivable how much of a cop out it all is. They missed out on 2 potential endings that would have made that film great.

    And you are spot on about the mimics. May as well have just been those training drones the whole time.

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May 2014