Edge Of Tomorrow, Tom Cruise’s latest foray into the world of the sci-fi actioner, is that rarest of beasts; a big, loud blockbuster with brains. Combining the best elements of an alien invasion movie, time travel and some exhilarating set-pieces, its an entertaining, pulsating vehicle that draws the very best out of Mr. Cruise and co-star Emily Blunt.
Based on a Japanese manga novel entitled “All You Need Is Kill”, the movie tells the story of an alien invasion that has already leveled most of Europe and the aliens, known as Mimics, are lethal, unrelenting in their attack and quickly gaining ground.
Major William Cage (Cruise), a PR rep for the U.S. Army has been able to hide behind his rank and avoid direct combat until his luck runs out and he’s sent to the front lines on a suicide mission to hold the enemy at bay. The attack turns into a massacre, and Cage is killed within five minutes, only to be resurrected and find himself stuck in a time loop; reliving the same brutal day over and over again so that he can improve his skills, break the cycle and turn the tide of the battle. His only hope seems to lie with Rita Vrataski (Blunt), a Special Forces legend who may hold the key to Cage’s salvation and the future of the human race.
Both stars are at the top of their game here, with Cruise throwing himself into the role with his usual gusto. His journey from outright coward to unlikely hero is marvelous to behold, while Blunt, in her first action movie role, is a sensation. Her combat-ready and courageous heroine proves a woman not to be messed with and Rita Vrataski is a character in the same vein as Sigourney Weaver’s Ripley when it comes to kicking some alien ass.
The movie moves along with a dizzying speed, moving from one stunning action sequence to the next; though things do slow down in the second half a bit to allow the story to catch up. One of the delights with Edge Of Tomorrow is that it never takes itself too seriously and there’s a lot more humour to be found than one would expect from a movie like this. The special effects are more than impressive and the fast-moving aliens are a formidable force, posing a genuine threat to our protagonists.
Edge Of Tomorrow is, at its core, a rousing sci-fi actioner with terrifying aliens, astounding action, and a fascinating story of a world at war. With a star like Tom Cruise at his absolute best, a cracking script and delivering some of the best set-pieces of the year so far, Edge Of Tomorrow pulses with adrenaline and may be the surprise hit of the summer.
(Images courtesy Collider, Warner Bros, Empire)