Edge of Tomorrow Review
Reviewed by Mark McCullough
Edge of Tomorrow is the latest science-fiction/action film starring Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt. It is based off the Japanese novel ‘All You Need is Kill’. The narrative depicts the greatest war in which humanity has ever fought. Following the landing of a meteor in Germany, the alien race contained within has fought its way across mainland Europe destroying all resistance it faces.
With a lot to bring the audience up to speed with, the film sets the scene quite well by utilising TV bulletins. We are given a feel for the length and desperation of the war, as well as how humanity has adapted to it. It is here that we are introduced to Rita Vrataski (Blunt) affectionately dubbed ‘The Angel of Verdun’ who leads the humans to their first victory against the alien threat. As such she becomes the face of the war and the main hope for humanity. Using her to market the war introduces us to Major William Cage (Cruise) who is in the advertising business and attracts new recruits to the war.
One of the slight problems with the film is that we aren’t really given a huge amount of backstory to the two main protagonists. This is even more apparent to Vrataski who is given next to nothing other than her status as the heroine from the previous battle. Cage on the other hand is offered backstory in the form of his meeting with the General (Brendan Gleeson). It is here where we get a flavour for what sort of man he is and to be honest he isn’t very likeable, making it hard to sympathise with the situation he soon finds himself in. Thankfully as the film centres on him, this affords for some strong character development and an opportunity for Cage to redeem himself throughout the course of the narrative.
Events transpire to leave Cage on the front line of the war, fighting against the alien threat. I have to admit, the director and visual department have made an absolutely stunning effort in bringing the war to life, something which the 3D effect only serves to add to effect. This leads to an immerse and believable war scenario, one which you will find that you know quite well by the end of the film. After an extremely busy first part of the film in which events have been established and Operation Downfall has begun, we find ourselves in an almost unique situation. Every character we have been introduced to is dead. Cue the impressive tagline featured in the promotional material for the film.
Edge of Tomorrow is the latest science-fiction/action film starring Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt. It is based off the Japanese novel ‘All You Need is Kill’.
Hopefully I’ve demonstrated the only problem with the twist. It can get quite boring quite quickly. Trust me when I say, the word ‘Maggot’ doesn’t get any less annoying after about the tenth time you hear it. Thankfully it’s not all repeated scenes as these are only used initially to establish what is going on. Basically anytime Cage dies, he finds himself back at the start of the day with his memories fully in tact meaning he has the ability to change things. The concept of a time loop is a fascinating one and it is well utilised here. The explanation behind it is simple and easy for the audience to understand.
From here the film can be split into three separate segments: Cage learning about his new ability and what he can do with it (leading to some humorous results), his time with Rita Vrataski, and finally the conclusion to the film. All three parts are tense and action packed yet paced appropriately that it is not difficult for the viewer to follow what is going on onscreen.
One major issue with the film is the ending. I’ve had a look online and it seems that it has easily been the most divisive part of the film. The problem, it’s predictable from a long way out. Yes it is the most tense part of the film (as it should be) made all the more so by a particular development within the narrative. Another issue is that it lacks in logic, which is a pity as the film up until this point had been very simple to understand and actually made science fiction very accessible. I feel it may have been better if they had left things as they were instead of adding something that didn’t make complete sense. You may disagree with me, which will surely only aid your enjoyment of the film.
Despite my minor gripes with the ending and the strength of the characters I still thoroughly enjoyed the film. Perhaps if it had not been for the issues, the film could have had the potential to be one of the top films of the year. It knows what it wants to do and sets out to do exactly that whilst along the way integrating some comedy and romance meaning it really does have that little something for everyone. It is easy to watch, easy to understand and easy to enjoy. The writing is intelligent and engaging and is strongly complemented by the cinematography and musical score. It’s not too stunt heavy either due to both Cruise and Blunt doing their own stunts. It is definitely a film I would recommend viewing if you get a chance. If nothing else, it proves that Cruise still has it when it comes to the action department, but personally I find it does a whole lot more than just that.