EDGE OF TOMORROW (2014) FILM REVIEW by PAUL LAIGHT
**CONTAINS MASSIVE SPOILERS**
The pitch: Groundhog Day with guns! The review: it’s bloody brilliant.
While it may have lifted it’s premise from Harold Ramis’ classic Sisyphian comedy, Edge of Tomorrow, is a sterling example of high-concept futuristic action which twists and turns and repeats and explodes in a breathlessly paced Alien v Human death-match. Also, Doug Liman is a fine genre director and handles the action, twisting plot and characterisation with an assured vision and touch. While perennial scene-stealer Emily Blunt shifts gear again from supporting-kooky-girlfriend-roles-to-hard-assed-action-hero with lusty aplomb; more than proving herself next to action veteran Tom Cruise.
Based on a Japanese novel All You Need is Kill, this is black-belt genre filmmaking and I more than got my money’s worth with Tom Cruise — after the kind-of-okay-but-ultimately-confusing-Oblivion (2013) — on excellent form. In fact, he plays against type at the start of the film as non-combative and cowardly PR expert William Cage who is thrown into battle against the monstrous Mimics from outer space.
He is killed very quickly during first combat and then finds himself back where he started living the same day over and over again.
The story evolves as Blunt’ Rita Vrataski and Cage join forces to destroy the Aliens. Usually Cruise movies have Tom as a hard bastard from the start brilliant at everything including fighting, jumping, killing, driving etc. The joy with this film is watching Cruise begin as an army novice and gain these skills throughout the film. Blunt in fact is in the Cruise role here being the kind of confident all-out action hero who we have come to expect Hollywood’s Dorian Gray to play in his sleep. But Blunt excels in a physically crunching Alien-killing role emanating a toughness allied with insouciant sexuality and sarcasm. Her partnership with Cruise is also a treat as the two physically and verbally spar and flirt with an always inventive and witty screenplay.
Every person involved in the creation of Edge of Tomorrow from the original writer, the scriptwriters, costume designers, special effects team, cast, composer, post-production team and so on and so forth deserve the plaudits for creating a blockbuster that has heart, humour and a brain. Okay, Groundhog Day did it first but if you’re going to rip off a classic then do it with class and Edge of Tomorrow certainly does that.