Movie Review: 'Edge of Tomorrow' (2014)

Seldom does an action film take their protagonist’s character development as seriously as “Edge of Tomorrow” and that is what not only makes it stand out but excel past its peers. Adapted from Hiroshi Sakurazaka’s novel “All You Need Is Kill”, the story finds the world fighting an alien invasion. Cage (Tom Cruise) is an officer who has never been in combat and that all changes when he is deployed for a veritable suicide mission.

Briefly trained by the surly Master Sergeant Farell (Bill Paxton), he is suited up in robotic armor and thrust into the eye of battle. It is not much later that he dies and within the blink of an eye, comes back to life. Quickly realizing that he is in the midst of a time loop, he sets out to learn from his mistakes and put an end to the recurring nightmare.

As strange as it might sound “Edge of Tomorrow” never becomes complacent or repetitious as it explores its subject matter. It speeds forward with concise motivation, finding the humor, heart and dramatic magnitude of its storyline.

A crucial component to the creative realization of the film is the work of editor James Herbert, who’s splicing of the film proves key. Director Doug Liman produces his best film yet, giving viewers something reminiscent of the hyper nature of “Go” and the sleek action of “The Bourne Identity”.

The action is rich, crisp and visceral, while the cinematography is fittingly gritty and the special effects are bountiful without overwhelming. Surprisingly, the script is refreshing in its unique spin on the “Groundhog Day” premise, covering new territory.

The only flaws facing the film is the way the body armor is depicted and the drawbacks of having an alien enemy as the central villain. First the full-body suit, it is stated that it is automated and yet the characters uncomfortably walk in it, appearing to have to manually maneuver it.  At no point is it a battle advantage to not be able to walk in a swift fashion.

As for the aliens, they never have a speaking line or demonstrate an intelligence that makes them tangible villains. They are simply the enemies of mankind and that is all there is on that front. It ends up working out for the most part because it gives the heroes as much time as possible without involving a conflicting narrative that would’ve drawn time away from the massively entertaining protagonists.

Tom Cruise anchors the film with his best role in years, relishing his character’s transition from smooth talking rogue to determined hero, allowing the performance to be well-rounded and fully realized in the process.

Emily Blunt sparks opposite Cruise, holding court with fiery passion and believable aggression. She and Cruise’s on-screen chemistry is palatable and the characters’ relationship builds with a believable momentum. 

Brendan Gleeson and Bill Paxton play it right on the money as the military leaders. Paxton is especially lively, throwing out comic zingers with sniper-like precision.

Noah Taylor also impresses in a vital supporting role. The supporting crew of rag-tag ruffians is well played by the cast, exhibiting enough gruffness to be believable mercenaries and enough heart to be brave.

Equipped with edge of your seat tension that builds throughout; the story mechanics progress in a non-formulaic and refreshingly unpredictable manner. It’s an enthralling ride that engrosses on a level recent sci-fi fantasies have failed to do. Well paced and magnificently rendered, “Edge of Tomorrow” seizes the day. Rating: 8.4/10

2 comments

  1. Probably the best most concise review of this movie anywhere Well Done Britt

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    1. Thanks for taking the time to read and leave a comment. It is greatly valued. Appreciate the feedback and kind words. - Britt

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