Reviewed by Daniel Janks: actor, creative director, writer, cynic, father, husband. He was born in 1977 and has still not died. He loves many things, chief among which are his mythic wife and odd girl-child. Visit his website.
Director Doug Liman
Writer Christopher McQuarrie, Jez Butterworth
Cast Tom Cruise, Emily Blunt, Bill Paxton
AGE RESTRICTION: [PG-13]
I’d pay attention to the restriction, this is a pretty violent and gory film.
Aliens? Check. Explosions? Check. Action? Check. Interesting premise? Check. Compelling character story and development? Um … a bit? Logical well thought out exposition of the narrative? Ja … well, you can’t have it all.
No-one likes a coward in a war movie, right? But everyone loves to see a coward overcome his fears and answer the calls of duty, honour and obligation, right?
Cage is a very pretty and charming Army PR man who has spearheaded the public relations charge of the great human vs Mimic (alien) war. But now he’s thrust onto the front lines (not really sure why) to die with thousands of other human soldiers. And die he does. Over and over again, each time re-awakening just before the invasion and having to do it over and over again. Can his Ground-Hog Day like powers help him thwart he Mimics and save mankind? What do you think?
The film is fun, packed with action, and a fun watch, no question. But it’s also more than a little nonsensical and in parts, downright silly.
The acting is fine. It’s the script that’s problematic. Tom Cruise, having to relive over and over again the same day, having to die over and over again does a good job bringing to life the inevitable monotony of the task, but so much time is spent setting up the premise that too little is left to play out the narrative development. Coupled with the fact that the film never manages to develop a reliable way to let the audience know when we’re repeating time and when we’re experiencing it for the first time, leaves the suspenseful parts of the film a little dull and plodding. So Cruise does a good job with a flawed script, as does Emily Blunt, who has the challenge of playing a character that only ever knows the character opposite her for a day, but still has to grow to like/love/respect him over the course of the film. Again she does a good job with a bad script.
Doug Liman is a good director. He brought us the original Jason Bourne movie, which was brilliant, and yonks ago he even did the cult comedy Swingers, which launched Vince Vaughn and Jon Favreau’s careers. So we know he can do exciting, taught, tense, edge of your seat action movies with a soul, and he can also do touching comedies with heart. Unfortunately in the case of Edge of Tomorrow it looks like he’s been swallowed up by the big-budget, CGI, block-busterness of it all. The film just doesn’t hold together logically and believably.
Edge of Tomorrow is a good film. It’s a fun night out, full of booms and bangs, and you’ll want to watch it to the end to see how it all comes out. But it’s no more than good, and isn’t going to make its way onto any cult lists anytime soon.