Film Review: Edge of Tomorrow

Monday 28 July 2014 by

Edge of Tomorrow, Film, Tom Cruise, Emily Blunt

The premise for this film promises a lot; think an amalgamation of Groundhog Day, Independence Day and the first 20 minutes of Saving Private Ryan (on repeat). As each of these films have their merits, it’s reasonable to assume that Edge of Tomorrow (based on the Japanese novel All You Need is Kill) will boast some good stuff too. Plus, I have a girl-crush on Emily Blunt…

It’s not-too-far in the future, and most of the world has been taken over by aliens. Major William Cage (Tom Cruise) has never seen action, but is more of a “cheerleader” for the war effort. But when the Big Push comes, Cage finds himself on the front line… and killed within mere minutes.

Which is why it’s a bit of a shock to the system when Cage wakes up back where he began and has to do it all over again… and again, and again. Cage is stuck in a hellish time loop, and he doesn’t know why. Enter Rita Vrataski, hardcore warrior and War Hero, played by Emily Blunt. Rita knows why – she’s been there – and teams up with Cage to save the day (again, and again…) and thus save humanity.

This is an action film. This is violence and short-sharp dialogue, and LOOK AT ALL THESE SPECIAL EFFECTS. It’s a Tom Cruise film from top to bottom.

I want to dislike Tom Cruise films, because in reality he kind of creeps me out. When it comes to action movies, you really can’t fault him – because he does just do what it says on the tin. He delivers the lines whilst walking that clever tightrope between tongue-in-cheek and deadly-serious; he throws himself in to action sequences with all the gusto of someone faced with an all-you-can-eat buffet. He’s generally enjoyable to watch, with the charming harmlessness of an excitable child.

As for Emily Blunt… she’s done comedy, drama and romance, and been a delight every time. She’s the unexpected prize in The Devil Wears Prada, the one who holds together The Young Victoria (because, let’s face it, it was a fairly rubbish film apart from her), and the one who makes The Five-Year Engagement much funnier than it should have been. In Edge of Tomorrow she plays the cold, ruthless and razor-witted Rita Vrataski with ease. She can keep up with Cruise’s puppy-ish hyperactivity, smooth out the dents when the script and/or special effects waver, and proves that a supporting character can easily outshine the protagonist, even with half the screen-time.

I have filed this film under “guilty pleasure”. I shouldn’t have enjoyed it as much as I did, because it’s held together by only the most tenuous notes of brilliance, but there’s definitely a gauche charm about this slightly clumsily-made film. I can’t bring myself round to the Tom Cruise fanclub, but I think I can manage watching a film or two. And Edge of Tomorrow is definitely a film I could watch again… and again…

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