Finally, a summer movie. Edge of Tomorrow is an engaging and exciting sci-fi film that has a lot of fun with its premise. It also delivers the goods in terms of visual effects and action, of which the film contains in voluminous amounts. It’s the kind of movie that used to be a mainstay in these hot and sticky months, but has since given way to the countless retread sequels and remakes that are released weekly. That’s not to say it’s overly original, but what it does it does very well.
Tom Cruise stars as Major William Cage, a military officer who has never seen a second of combat. That’s about to change – and quickly. Earth is rapidly being taken over by an alien species known as Mimics. They’re quick and crafty metallic beings that often dispatch their enemy before it even knows what hit them. The world has banded their together in an effort to eradicate them, and Cage finds himself on the front lines. He is promptly killed, but soon awakes in the exact same moment of time before a battle. Every time he is killed this happens. Paired with Special Forces warrior Rita Vrataski (Blunt), the two hope to take advantage of the mysterious time warp in an effort to defeat the Mimics.
Edge of Tomorrow borrows liberally from films such as Groundhog Day, Starship Troopers, and Independence Day, but that doesn’t stop it from emerging as a terrific entertainment all its own. Cruise, as charming and likable as he’s ever been, carries the film’s action scenes (how refreshing to have a hero that starts out having no clue what he’s doing) and winning sense of humor. The action is as intense as any of recent memory. Director Doug Liman wages large-scale battles without losing a sense of time and place, and the visual effects are very impressive. Emily Blunt is well-cast as the dead-serious foil who’s also experienced the time warp that Cage currently is in. She knows she has the luxury of just killing him and starting over when his training goes awry.
With the exception of a closing scene that may or may not be possible within the movie’s own rules, Edge of Tomorrow is the best film so far this summer. It succeeds as both an action-packed extravaganza and a slightly-deeper-than-that sci-fi experience. Perhaps most of all, Edge of Tomorrow has fun with its ideas and the comedy works. I had almost forgotten what it was like to laugh along with a summer blockbuster.
Studio: Warner Bros.
Length: 113 Minutes
Rating: PG-13 for intense sequences of sci-fi action and violence, language and brief suggestive material.
Theatrical Release: June 6, 2014
Directed by: Doug Liman
Written by: Christopher McQuarrie & Jez Butterworth & John-Henry Butterworth. Based upon the novel “All You Need Is Kill” by Hiroshi Sakurazaka.
Cast: Tom Cruise, Emily Blunt, Bill Paxton, Brendan Gleeson, Jonas Armstrong