Ok, so the last time I mentioned a Tom Cruise movie on the Urban Industry blog it didn’t turn out so good (awhattup Oblivion?). However, having just seen Edge Of Tomorrow at the cinema this week, I can certifiably assure you that it’s actually quite good. I’m not admitting that through gritted teeth either – I have no beef with Cruise one way or another. In fact, I think he’s perfectly cast in this and turns in arguably one of his strongest and most charismatic performances in years.
Directed by Doug Liman (The Bourne Identity, Mr & Mrs Smith), Edge Of Tomorrow is based on the manga ‘All You Need Is Kill’ by Hiroshi Sakurazaka and tells the story of story of a cowardly soldier (Cruise) who is forced to fight the same doomed battle against an invading alien force again and again on the beaches of France. If all this sounds like Starship Troopers meets Groundhog Day then you’re kinda right. Credit to Liman though for fashioning a tale that’s so much more than the sum of its borrowed parts. If Edge Of Tomorrow took itself 100% seriously then it would be an incredibly dull and tiring affair. However, that Groundhog Day influence makes for quite a witty script and gives the film a feeling of playfulness throughout. Even though Cruise must relive the same day over and over, the action never feels repetitive or drawn out and the central concept is played out in interesting ways.
The other massive influence on Edge Of Tomorrow is undoubtedly the world of video games. As opposed to Hollywood’s terrible history of video games as movies (awhattup Super Mario – R.I.P Bob Hoskins), Edge Of Tomorrow almost seems like a video game as movie. Cruise’s character essentially respawns at the same save-point and must try to progress to the next level, so to speak. With the predetermined enemies following the same course of action each and every time he battles them, Cruise learns the patterns and uses that knowledge to advance. Much like playing your Xbox but without throwing the controller at the TV, basically.
There’s some nice supporting turns in this movie from the likes of Bill Paxton (harking back to the movie’s Aliens influence) and Emily Blunt is terrific as the sword-wielding badass heroine who figures out what’s going on. As a 12A rated movie the action is remarkably bloodless given the scale of carnage on show. I can’t help but feel that if this movie was made a couple of years ago it would be sufficiently bloody and marketed to a more mature audience. However, it’s a minor quibble and won’t distract from one of the more enjoyable blockbusters I’ve seen so far this summer. Edge Of Tomorrow is on general release in the UK now.
9 lives remaining / 10