Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 89% (Critics) / 91% (Audience)
Directed By: Doug Liman
Written By: Christopher McQuarrie, John-Henry Butterworth and Jez Butterworth
Starring: Tom Cruise, Emily Blunt, Bill Paxton and Brendan Gleeson
Studio: Warner Bros. Pictures
Synopsis:The epic action of “Edge of Tomorrow” unfolds in a near future in which an alien race has hit the Earth in an unrelenting assault, unbeatable by any military unit in the world. Major William Cage (Tom Cruise) is an officer who has never seen a day of combat when he is unceremoniously dropped into what amounts to a suicide mission. Killed within minutes, Cage now finds himself inexplicably thrown into a time loop-forcing him to live out the same brutal combat over and over, fighting and dying again…and again. But with each battle, Cage becomes able to engage the adversaries with increasing skill, alongside Special Forces warrior Rita Vrataski (Emily Blunt). And, as Cage and Rita take the fight to the aliens, each repeated encounter gets them one step closer to defeating the enemy. – (Source)
I absolutely love the fact that Tom Cruise seems on a one man mission to make straight-forward, no nonsense, quality science fiction films. He made a valiant effort with 2013’s OBLIVION but with EDGE OF TOMORROW he hits all of the right beats. Cruise is pitch perfect as he takes the smarmy, less than gallant character of William Cage on a hero’s journey wrapped in a great science fiction action film. And who knew Emily Blunt had a total BAMF chick hiding deep down in her bones? Watching her kick butt in this movie makes me wonder just how great would she have been if she’d taken the Black Widow role in IRON MAN 2 when it was offered to her. She and Cruise had pretty good chemistry, both romantic and comedic (especially the dark humor of her killing him repeatedly to start the cycle anew) too as they kept repeating the same days over and over again.
Doug Liman did a masterful job with the look of this film too. He gave us a not too far in the future Earth that looked like our own world for the most part except he gave the ravaged theaters of war all the dystopian bleakness of films like THE ROAD and CHILDREN OF MEN. And the battle scenes were all frenetic and fast moving especially in the beginning of the film so that the audience was experiencing all the disorientation and anxiety that Cruise’s character felt.
I also loved the look of the alien Mimics. They were like beefed up metallic alien versions of those Wacky Wall Walkers toys that used to come in boxes of cereal in the 80s.
The alien Big Bad was a bit underwhelming. I think that a better design and maybe a bit more of a display of its intelligence and malevolence would have been good to see.
While I didn’t hate the ending it did feel like a cop out that was decided by test audiences who didn’t want a downer of an ending.
Final Verdict: A well-directed, well-acted incredibly enjoyable and smart summer blockbuster that sets a very high bar for the rest of the summer movie crop and re-establishes Tom Cruise as one of the best action stars Hollywood has on deck and reminds the world that Doug Liman is a director worth watching. Great fun.