June 3, 2014
"Edge of Tomorrow" shows us a different Tom Cruise. In contrast with his past heroic characters, all valiant and unafraid, his character here Major William Cage is a big coward, trying to weasel his way out of an order to be in the front line of battle against the Mimics, an unstoppable alien race about to take over the whole world.
However, as Cage kills and gets killed by different sort of alien creature called the Alpha, he wakes up to relive this day of battle and die over and over again. With every return engagement, Cage would meet, strategize and fight alongside war heroine Rita Vrataski in their mission to seek out and destroy the main alien creature called the Omega.
Tom Cruise gets to flex his comedic chops which we do not see often enough. His playing a coward at first was so unlikely of him, it was fresh and funny. Of course, his action and fight sequences naturally looked good for him, even though these scenes did come later on in the film. This was a very good performance from Cruise, very natural and charming. He certainly knows how to choose these projects which would ensure his career longevity in the A-list.
This is the first time I have seen Emily Blunt in an action film. She surprised me with her proficiency in the battle arenas, very realistic skills. She is both sexy and formidable as Rita. She has a palpable chemistry with Cruise, which was key to audience enjoyment in a film like this. This girl can really stand her own with the best of them.
This film brings director Doug Liman into the bigger leagues as he deftly handles the awesome computer-generated visual and sound effects on top of a potentially unwieldy "Groundhog Day"-like scenario. The complex script was by Christopher McQuarry of "The Usual Suspects" fame, based on the Japanese novel "All You Need Is Kill" by Hiroshi Sakurazaka. Liman brought the story to life without becoming tedious in its repetition of scenes, and without any obvious problems in the looping timeline of events.
This film comes right at the heels of last year's excellent "Oblivion", also a futuristic sci-fi film starring Tom Cruise and a British leading lady. Both are entertaining in their own way, but the story and the treatment are from being the same. Where "Oblivion" is all white and sterile-looking with a very serious style of story-telling, "Edge of Tomorrow" is dirty, gritty and fun, with a sharp sense of humor, a true summer blockbuster. 8/10.