When Tom Cruise shows up in a Sci-Fi atmosphere, you’d be wise to bet summer blockbuster movie season is upon us. Although Edge of Tomorrow stays faithful to the usual big budget Hollywood film checklist, it surprisingly brings along some welcomed twists and turns that make this film an entertaining, easily watched two hours. Loosely based on the novel by Hiroshi Sakurazaka titled “All you need is kill”, Director Doug Liman from”The Bourne Identity” fame delivers a summer blockbuster movie yes, but an intelligent one that keeps the audience at bay and is worth your time and attention.
Tom Cruise plays “Williams Cage” an officer that finds himself caught in a time loop in a war with an alien race. His skills increase as he faces the same brutal combat scenarios, and his union with a Special Forces warrior (Emily Blunt) gets him closer and closer to defeating the enemy.
Edge of Tomorrow opens with a Tom Cruise you haven’t seen too often. He’s a nervous, weak and an uncourageous soldier by his own admission. Cruise is better than he’s been in a while here, never overreaching and damping down his usual all-intensity, all-the-time skit. This angle really plays well for the film initially and dances in unison with Emily Blunt’s strong, near invincible super soldier portrayal of Rita. Strong supporting roles by Bill Paxton and Brendan Gleeson also come in handy doing some light lifting but well delivered scenes that really round out a strong acted movie.
It must be said that Edge of Tomorrow has a significant “Groundhog Dog” esqe feel. There’s something immensely fun about seeing a character replaying the same day over and over again. And just like Groundhog day, the main character not only relives the same day and actions, he learns and grows from them. This is one of Edge of Tomorrow’s biggest strength and surprises. Cruise has some touching moments that you may not expect, but there only made possible by his growth through repetitive experiences. It gives the film substance you don’t really see too often in a blockbuster tent pole.
“World Building” is such a huge role for sic fi films, the who, what, where when and why’s are essential to completing a unique experience. Unfortunately Edge of Tomorrow really comes up short here. Although conceptually the film still holds up, it certainly left many questions unanswered. Maybe thats looking too deep for a summer blockbuster, but those classic sci-fi films of past work in length to make you feel engulfed in thier world. Edge of Tomorrow didn’t quite reach that level for me. Does it keep the film from being enjoyable? No, but still, I wanted a little more detail and backstory and unfortunately Edge of Tomorrow gave me a dear in the headlights look in that department.
All in all, its hard to fault Edge of Tomorrow, especially fit smack dab in the middle of the loaded summer of big films. The script is intelligently written and that alone is a commendable achievement. A story where spoon-feeding the audience isn’t a priority sat really well with me. This could’ve gotten monotonous really quick, but Edge of Tomorrow possesses enough variation and offers enough thrills to keep the audiences hooked and entertained. One of the more clever sci-fi actioners I’ve seen in awhile.
Groundhog Day reimagined with sci-fi twist? Count me in. Again and again.
Edge of Tomorrow – 7.5/10
MPAA rating: PG-13 (for intense sequences of sci-fi action and violence, language and brief suggestive material)