Edge Of Tomorrow (2014)
Directed by Doug Liman
Based on All You Need Is Kill by Hiroshi Sakurazaka
Running time: 113 minutes
Groundhog Day. With aliens. And Tom Cruise.
I mentioned at The IPC (in this post HERE) that I went to see four movies the other day. Yes, I was at the cinema for, like, ten hours. No, I don’t normally do that. Yes, I do think it was a little insane. 😉
This is what I saw: Godzilla, X-Men: Days Of Future Past, Edge Of Tomorrow, and A Million Ways To Die In The West. Well, Edge Of Tomorrow is easily the best of these. And this is coming from someone who is Anti-Cruise and his Tom Cruise-y acting. He’s too Tom Cruise-y! (Which was also my main in-depth argument in my review for Oblivion).
Well, I may have wished that this movie had starred someone else but it’s still a pretty damn good piece of sci-fi anyway. Yes, it really is Groundhog Day with aliens but, hey – what crazy person doesn’t like Groundhog Day? And Alien & Aliens are two of the absolute best movies EVER so, really, it’s a recipe for success.
And while the story sounds convoluted (I’ve not gone into a full plot synopsis as I know some people don’t like to know too much), it’s actually done really well in the film and doesn’t get confusing. In fact, I found X-Men: Days Of Future Past far more convoluted (and slightly disappointing). I’m not one of those types to dig for plot holes but it feels like this one would actually stand up to close scrutiny. It felt a bit like Looper if Looper had been a little more straight forward (I suppose the Emily Blunt connection made me keep thinking of that one throughout this movie). But Edge Of Tomorrow is better – I thought it had a very solid plot that’s less complex than you’d think, which is actually nice for a change in a world (I just heard that movie trailer guy’s voice in my head – “in a world…”) where too many sci-fi movies try to be something like Inception and most fail miserably, just giving us a mess of a plot.
As always, the things I care most about in a movie are story & characters. Luckily, the characters are just as strong as the plot (especially Emily Blunt, who is fabulous in this and SUCH a great character). I was going to go on & on about her in this review but, instead, I highly recommend you read this piece by Mike over at Screenkicker: Full Metal Bitches. It’s an excellent write-up about the lack of decent female characters in action films these days & how right Edge Of Tomorrow gets Blunt’s character. She’s tough yet feminine, she’s intelligent, she’s… Fully clothed! She kicks ass but feels more “real” than Ripley or Sarah Connor (not that I’m complaining about those two because those two RULE!). Anyway – just read what Mike wrote. Oh, and you can also read his Edge Of Tomorrow review HERE. 🙂
As for Tom Cruise-y Tom Cruise… Well, he’s good in this. He does so many similar roles and especially loves his sci-fi but, for once, this felt like a slightly different character for him, especially at the beginning. I can’t really fault his performance and I suppose he can’t help the fact that he’s Tom Cruise. As for the other characters, they seemed to be trying to make the soldiers similar to those in Aliens (I mean, hell – Bill Paxton was even used!). At one point Paxton’s character was like “Game over, man! Game over! I’d like to butter your muffin!” (Okay – that didn’t happen. But it should have). This mostly works but not QUITE. I appreciate the effort, though, as I think Aliens has one of best groups of characters so it’s natural to want a similar thing here. I’d actually have liked to see a little more of the soldiers in Edge Of Tomorrow – believe it or not, they provide some comic relief. But in a good way. One of the most surprising things about this movie was that there were bits of humor scattered throughout and it worked just fine. Hell, even Tom Cruise had a couple funny bits!
Yeah – I could ramble on more but I think it’s time I wrap this up as I’ve said all there really is to say. This is a solid sci-fi film with a strong plot that doesn’t get all convoluted. The characters are great, especially Emily Blunt in a role that female (and male) sci-fi fans will be happy to see (yes, there are plenty of female sci-fi fans – it’s time Hollywood realizes this). Oh! And I suppose I’ve not even mentioned that the aliens look really good and are pretty cool and the action scenes are great. Edge Of Tomorrow is a good piece of sci-fi action and I definitely recommend it to fans of this genre.
My Rating: 8/10