Wednesday 4 June 2014

Dark Review - Edge of Tomorrow

Edge of Tomorrow Review

By Casey Douglass


Edge of Tomorrow is another one of those Groundhog Day style movies. Not in so far as the humour but someone doomed to live the same day over and over and over. It is to Edge of Tomorrow’s credit that this doesn’t get boring.

The film follows PR soldier man Major William Cage (Tom Cruise). He is forced into what should be the final victorious battle against alien invaders that arrived on Earth via an asteroid some time ago. He is the man who ‘sold’ the war effort to the masses, gaining the army new recruits on the basis of their newly designed combat ‘jackets’ (ExoSuits). These half-pint mech-like body add-ons are purported to make any soldier a deadly killing machine, even if they have had next to no training.

Image © Warner Bros. Pictures
Unfortunately the aliens know they are coming. The aliens are referred to as Mimics due to their ability to mimic human military behaviour which makes them very hard to beat. The final assault on the shores of France doesn’t go well, and through some ‘good’ fortune, Cage ends up with the ability to start the day over again if he dies. And die he does.

This is where the occasional humour of the film comes in, seeing Cage gradually learn what happens if he does this or that and then fall afoul of something totally mundane like being hit by a truck. He always wakes up in the same place with an angry soldier standing over him shouting at him to get on his feet.

Image © Warner Bros. Pictures
As the story progresses, Cage meets Rita Vrataski (Emily Blunt) a Special Forces soldier and poster girl for the whole war effort after her victory in previous battle Verdun. The two become entwined (not that way filthy people) and revelations abound at what is going on and how much they share the same burden. There are other characters too of course, the one that stands out the most being Bill Paxton’s Master Sergeant Farrell Bartolome who is always on Cage’s back and has a wry couple of lines that just made me chuckle.

Image © Warner Bros. Pictures
I went to see Edge of Tomorrow with no real expectations. I don’t mind Tom Cruise as an actor and his performance in this, and his fall from grace at the start of the story all make a nice coherent whole. Emily Blunt plays Rita in a convincing way and it is truly a nice thing to see their friendship blossom as each day plays out in different ways.

Image © Warner Bros. Pictures
The Mimics are scary multi-limbed adversaries that put me in mind of The Sentinels from The Matrix. They are brutal and quick and really gave the impression of something humanity would struggle to overcome.

The action on screen was frenetic and added to the impression of a chaotic massacre for Cage to run through really well. Even as a viewer, the day repeating gives you a chance to see things more and more clearly, on the battlefield at least.

Image © Warner Bros. Pictures
The film doesn’t outstay its welcome at just under two hours and I really didn’t notice that amount of time passing, which is another thumbs up from me.

I would rate it 4/5 because it exceeded my expectations and I am struggling to find anything negative to say about it. It's a 4 because it wasn’t a perfect movie by any means, just highly likeable.

Edge of Tomorrow on IMDb.