Here’s something I never thought I’d be saying this year (or any year for that matter). I enjoyed the latest Tom Cruise action flick more than the recent slate of comic book movies on offer. There, I said it – get your pitchforks ready and light them torches. Have I gone insane? Short answer: maybe. You see, despite my personal feelings on the magical mystery Cruise, I am going to remain diplomatic enough to give his latest film a fair trial.
When a public relations officer (Tom Cruise) is forced into an epic war with squid-like alien creatures, he unwittingly finds himself caught in a ‘Groundhog D-Day’. Facing the same battle scenarios on a French beach every time he re-spawns, he must team up with a fellow soldier nicknamed “The Iron Bitch” (Emily Blunt) to stop the alien invasion.
Whether you’re a fan of The Cruise or not, there is much to enjoy about this film. One of the remarkable aspects of Edge of Tomorrow is how it’s always threatening to become stale, yet thanks to some great pacing and editing it somehow manages to remain surprising. Fans of Resistance, Gears of War and even the Halo games will also find much to enjoy here.
The Bottom Line
While I’m usually in the corner of the ring with those movies that have less to work with in terms of spectacle, yet offer a more meatier story, I have to admit that this was a fun ride from start to finish. It’s not as good as The Winter Soldier, but it’s far superior to Godzilla and in my humble opinion – the latest X-men movie too. The reason for my verdict is that I would gladly watch this film again, while I can’t say the same for the other two I just mentioned.
Barring the rather cliché ending and a general feeling that they could have explained certain aspects of the plot a bit more, this was ultimately a satisfying dose of escapism. Even if you’re going into this just to see Tom Cruise die a whole bunch of times, you’ll still walk out having enjoyed the film for some of the other elements at play. It manages to tell a serious story while providing some good humor along the way and also features a fantastic performance from not only Cruise himself, but Emily Blunt as well. Her character really commands attention in a truly kick ass role alongside Tom Cruise and there are times when her starring role even outshines his.
Which is saying quite a bit, because in my opinion this is his best ‘Sci-Fi action hero’ role since Minority Report. Usually playing the part of a skilled fighter, here he’s just a Media/PR guy who’s unwittingly forced into the front-lines of battle. This new inexperienced character is a good one for Cruise to play and it’s different from his usual roles. In hindsight I actually think casting Cruise in this film was a stroke of genius, because out of all the big names in Hollywood this guy just keeps coming back for more, regardless of the general public’s stance on his career. Another actor who keeps popping up after taking some damaging hits thanks to some pesky Spy Kids is Bill Paxton. In his role as the hard-arsed Master Sergeant Farell, you can tell that he’s really getting a kick out of giving Cruise’s character a hard time at nearly every turn. As a side-note, his portrayal of the character John Garrett in Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. was also pretty awesome.
The dark, twisted nature of being able to instantly re-spawn is handled well in the picture and at times to humorous effect. Unfortunately, there is an inherent and ultimately sloppy flaw in the plotting of the film, which is unfortunate given all of it’s strong points. It’s that one damned rotten plot-device attempting to upset the whole package again and while most will overlook it or not even pick up on it – the fact remains that it is there and it’s mainly what prevents me from awarding this film with a higher score.