Posted by: da_nibbler | June 4, 2014

Review: Edge of Tomorrow

“Live. Die. Repeat.”
The film’s tagline is straight to the point yet ominous enough. All you really need to know is mankind is fighting a global war against aliens trying to exterminate us. Something happens to Tom Cruise’s coward character Cage and he turns into a soldier version of Bill Murray in Groundhog Day. Oh, and Emily Blunt is in it as the love child of Lara Croft and Sarah Connor, kicking major ass (including Cruise’s). Buckle up and get ready for one helluva ride. Did I mention Emily Blunt’s muscles?

Tom Cruise does a good job playing coward turns involuntary hero Cage. I was pleasantly surprised how far he went making his character not just unlikeable but borderline despicable. A selfish coward who, by chance, is bestowed a great opportunity to end the war. If he can stomach being killed, I mean trained, by Emily Blunt. Live. Die. Repeatedly. That is the heart of the film and makes the entire roller coaster so much fun to watch. Blunt plays a famous war hero, the only hero in this war the humans are losing. Her and Cruise play polar opposites which is what makes the action and especially the comedic elements work so well. Have I mentioned Blunt’s amazingly toned body?

After the audience gets the gist of the rinse-repeat idea the action picks up pace and does not stop. Here the editing is the storyteller’s main tool, with quick cuts from one day to the next within the same scene showcasing the tongue in cheek humour and well implemented Groundhog Day idea. Mostly it is not what you see but what happens offscreen that has the best effect. A memorable example has Cage ducking out from the marines by rolling under a passing jeep. On his first attempt all you see is the jeep driving towards camera and hear it running him over. CUT. Same scene, different attempt, and this time he times it right. Scenes like this as well as Blunt’s character readily shooting him to reset when needed are just some of the fun elements that make up this film.

The action is fast paced. The special effects and sound design are top notch. And the actors bring enough believability to their characters given the setting. The choreography of the action sequences will have your head spinning and the continuity of the repeat scenes is flawless, at least on a first watch. As this film more than warrants repeat viewings continuity errors might become apparent.

Technical aspects are solid. The story is your usual scifi stuff set in war times with a Groundhog Day twist. You get both a male and female action hero, which in my opinion is more than commendable in any film let alone a Tom Cruise starring vehicle. But the real hero here is the editing. Without it this film would not be half as much fun. So get your popcorn ready and enjoy the ride. One of the most entertaining films this year. Go see!

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