Saving Private Ryan for the First-Person Shooter generation, Edge of Tomorrow melds its Sci-Fi DNA with videogame stylistics to create a more than satisfying blockbuster romp.
If your dream is to see Tom Cruise shot; blown up, sliced, diced, ripped to pieces, crushed AND drowned (for good measure) this just might be the film for you.
As deals go, in Doug Liman’s take on Hiroshi Sakurazaka’s novel, All You Need Is Kill poor old Tommy gets a rough one.
Sent to the frontline during an invasion of alien occupied Europe, Cruise’s cowardly PR officer William Cage (an interestingly against-type role) develops the power to, upon dying; re-live the same day again after an encounter with an extraterrestrial enemy.
He must use his new-found power to change the outcome of the war and in turn the fate of his comrade Rita Vratraski (Emily Blunt)
In short – it’s Groundhog D-Day!
Given itsstaccato narrative Edge of Tomorrow cleverly chooses to play out as a 113 minute video game with all the running, jumping and shooting at colourful CGI nasties being well suited to its protagonist’s trial and error character arc.
It’s basically one massive training montage but crucially injected with enough black humour and innovative methods of splattering its star to keep it fresh.
Liman handles the repetitiveness well, frantically chopping and mashing angles, dialogue and scenes together to create enough confusion and Sci-Fi puzzlement while still making the plot clear to follow.
In an action-heavy movie the relationship between Cruise and Blunt helps to add an emotional depth with the pair engaging throughout.
Despite both having time-travel in their back catalogues in Minority Report and Looper respectively, nothing here quite hits those watermarks thematically but the dabbling with certain ideas e.g. altering the future, helps prevent the film from slipping into a 2D shoot ‘em up-fest.
Quirky, compelling and thoroughly entertaining, Edge of Tomorrow is a welcome addition to the Sci-Fi genre on the big screen.