Right from the start I knew there were going to be some expectations, as there was that tiny anticipation bug because it was sci-fi and I had seen the trailer a few times which, in my opinion, managed to set up the premise for Edge of Tomorrow quite nicely. That being said, I never even considered that Tom Cruise would manage to wiggle himself back into my good graces and deliver a great performance in a movie that I’m probably going to consider as this year’s best sci-fi action movie.
Right from the start, I’m going to mention two things that make Edge of Tomorrow stand out from the pile of alien invasion movies: firstly, the war has already been going on for some time now, so it’s not the first encounter situation and I loved that! There was no panic among the humans, there was no denial.. people had already fought the aliens, won some battles and the big battle was right around the corner. Secondly, when we meet the hero of the movie, he’s not a hero at all – he’s scared, he’s not willing to do what he is ordered to do and it’s refreshing in a way because instead of watching a hero succeed, we actually see a man taking on the task of being a hero in order to succeed. This was where Tom Cruise shined because I was so used to seeing him as a hero that I was surprised to see him back down from a fight.. in the beginning at least.
But that was just the start of it all, and for my own surprise, the movie continued to impress me throughout. The big battle scene was done beautifully, it had some great CGI going on and we finally got to see the aliens. Now, not the biggest fan of the scoprio-look-alike creatures but I don’t mind them. So, as our soon to be hero is frantically trying to survive this chaos, he encounters a different kind of alien, big, scary, light blue tree-look-alike and in his first heroic moment, kills it along with himself. Rewind, “Get up maggot” and the actual fun begins!
For those who have no idea what Edge of Tomorrow is all about, the main thing with this movie is that Tom Cruise dies a lot, but then he wakes up again and gets to live it all over again with Emily Blunt who looks banging by the way! Therefore, it’s like that Supernatural episode where it kept being Tuesday and Dean died again and again – I loved that episode and I guess a part of me loved Edge of Tomorrow because of that connection. Besides, Cruise being killed off, mostly by Blunt, was sort of rewarding, especially when the deaths were funny like the one where he got run over by a the truck – a cinematic piece of gold right there!
Obviously with a plot like that, the constant repeat of the same day is likely to become boring and it wouldn’t be fun to watch if it didn’t surprise us with every repeat-day, Edge of Tomorrow does its best not to fall down that trap and I think it succeeds. The editing deserves some credit with this, the movie has just the right tempo, in addition to the great selection of repeat moments that we get to witness without any of them becoming too annoying. And when the plot developments start to unravel half way through the movie, there’s not a single moment where you sit back and wait for the movie to get there faster.
Interestingly enough, for Doug Liman, who directed The Bourne Identity and Mr. & Mrs. Smith, this might be his best yet but I’m pretty sure most of the praise should actually go to the author of the light novel All You Need Is Kill by Hiroshi Sakurazaka, for coming up with the idea, and the men who adapted it into a script – I honestly believe Edge of Tomorrow’s success is behind its writing. There’s a certain sophistication to it, because with time loops you can get away with almost anything, even with that ending which was a little cheesy but by then, I didn’t care. There’s the first repeat moments, then there’s the repeat moments that are the first ones for us but not for the main character – it’s refreshing, different and thrilling.
There you have it, I liked it, I even loved it to be honest and I’m not the only one. Edge of Tomorrow has received a lot of praise, there’s some heavy love towards it and I can see why. It looks visually good, Cruise and Blunt are great, there’s a right amount of everything, especially humor, which I don’t mind experiencing again and I’m pretty certain that even with a second viewing the repeats won’t become annoying – that’s how well the plot develops!