Directed by Doug Liman and adapted from the Japanese light novel All You Need Is Kill by Hiroshi Sakurazaka, Edge of Tomorrow is set in a near future where Major William Cage (Tom Cruise) is forced to fight in a war with an unbeatable alien race which has hit the Earth in an unrelenting assault. Dying within minutes of battle, a special alien power is transferred over to Cage as he inexplicably finds himself caught in a time loop, meaning that he must face the same brutal combat scenarios over and over again, fighting and dying, again and again, only to wake up on the same morning every time that he is killed. But the more he dies, the more Cage becomes able to engage the adversaries with increasing skill, and with the help of warrior Sergeant Rita Vratask (Emily Blunt), his union and training slowly but surely gets him closer and closer to defeating the enemy.
There were many reasons that I, and many others, weren’t looking forward to this film this summer. Maybe it’s because Tom Cruise has been on a bit of a downward spiral lately, taking whatever work he can, or maybe it’s because most action films these days are all style over substance, with many directors merely wanting to show that they can play with the latest visual effects as well. But who knew that Edge of Tomorrow would be circling the top of everybody’s summer blockbuster favourites? I certainly wasn’t expecting to like it, but it turns out that I wouldn’t hate being stuck in a time loop of watching this film over and over again. What a surprise.
With the story being based on a light novel, the background story and premise is strong, which more than helps this action being more than just a few big explosions. It’s one of the best alien invasions of recent years, but also one of the most entertaining and fulfilling science fiction films. It’s creative and original, and has a lot more soul than the likes of similar films being released this year, with the most recent Transformers instalment especially springing to mind.
As for performances, it’s safe to say that Cruise is certainly out of semi-retirement and that Emily Blunt can play the “Full Metal Bitch” as well as she can the rom-com beauty. The two have a great chemistry together and are supported by a fantastic cast, also including great performances from Brendan Gleeson and Bill Paxton.
Edge of Tomorrow is an easy film to enjoy, so make sure you don’t skip over this one this year.