IMDb: 8.2 / 10
Rotten Tomatoes: 90%
Edge of Tomorrow is based on a Japanese sci-fi novel called All You Need Is Kill. I mention this because the film changed its name at one point from the same, badass name to the admittedly cool, but far less badass Edge of Tomorrow. That may be the only bad thing I have to say about the movie.
Kristy Puchko, of CinemaBlend was quoted in several ads I saw promoting this film: “Simply put, this is why we go to the movies.” Normally, I loathe the use, overuse, and dead-horse-beating-y-use of such quotes promoting films. We love CinemaBlend – that is meant as no statement against them. Rather, when terrible films such as the ‘Scary Movie’ franchise has resorted to throwing up random Twitter reactions to their films as ‘reviews,’ I tend to tire of such repeated manipulation. Tangent aside, Puchko’s sentiment is succinctly spot-on. Holy Tom Cruise jumping beans was this movie fun.
Should I pay to see it?
Indeed you should. While I see no reason to shell out the extra bucks for 3D (simply because the movie does not rely on 3D for enjoyment), this movie was made to be seen on the big screen. Director Doug Liman might be a handful, however that’s an issue for the studios – the man who gave us a rousing introduction to Jason Bourne (and, hey, EP’ed The O.C. – neato!) delivers a similarly engrossing action hit.
I will admit both a predisposition for such movies. Additionally, as anyone familiar with the the Groundhog-Day-esque framing premise knows, I was had some serious twisted delight in seeing Tom Cruise get smacked around repeatedly. This may seem like a dig at Cruise, and it is, however it also serves as a unique twist on the action heroes of similar Tom Cruise fare and beyond. The only way he gets to the typically superheroic skill levels we see in such summer blockbusters is to die. And die. And die. This is not a morbid fascination, entirely, though Cruise’s ‘re-sets’ are occasionally played for laughs and deliver. The structure of the story genuinely upends some action movie conventions, keeping the audience engaged. The movie might lose some of its ‘go-see-this’ luster when replayed on a smaller screen, however the reviews are not lying when they tell you, as I am, this movie serves as a fresh summer blockbuster. Good ol’ popcorn-popping fun.
Could I watch it with a date?
Again, a rousing yes. Tom Cruise knows this movie is more clever than some of his recent action fare and delivers some of his best work in some time. His counterpart Emily Blunt may outshine him, though. Blunt demonstrates some serious action-star chops, much to my surprise. I loved her in The Adjustment Bureau as well as Looper, but she stands out and kicks butt as the “Full Metal Bitch” / “Angel of Verdun” / Rita. She also remains one of my favorite interviews. The action bounces along, the script & quips is tight by any standard (especially for such a potentially convoluted action/sci-fi plot) and serves an excellent supporting cast.
Furthermore, the movie just looks cool. Director Liman certainly knows what he’s doing with guns and explosions, one need look no further than his resume and box office success to know that, however credit should be paid to the editing, cinematography and VFX teams as well. The alien invaders (‘mimics’) are furtively used but striking and the fight scenes are enhanced by a clear eye for choreography, made all the better for some killer mech-suits. Beyond being a well put together romp, the movie was well edited and shot, something I always appreciate in a big action film. Whereas some can feel overly drawn out, bloated or just plain messy (sigh, Elysium), Edge of Tomorrow benefits from sharp editing, nifty camera work and and runs a lean 113 minutes. I say a ‘lean’ hour-forty-three because the lazy A Million Ways to Die in the West ran a similar 116 minutes and felt as though it lasted FOREVER. EoT was clearly made thoughtfully, from script to casting to choreography and I found myself shocked it had such a close run time to MacFarlane’s farce, during which I had no trouble taking a restroom break. Edge of Tomorrow can keep you and a date glued to your seat, no question. And it will make you go all ‘Archer’ for a robot suit.
Could I watch it with my mother?
Again, most certainly. The movie contains some excellent cursing, a great many action scenes, aliens, and national treasure Bill Paxton. If for whatever reason any of those serve as something your mother would not enjoy, she may not have a good time. For example, if one does not love fast-moving action films on the big screen because it makes them motion sick, you might want to hold off. Not every mother will want to sit through your typical action summer blockbuster. This is completely understandable. That said, Edge of Tomorrrow is not Transformers. The movie is fun and fairly clever, made with an intelligent eye. Those accolades can not always be said for similar releases. The only way someone could simply NOT enjoy the movie in any way is if they are a Tom Cruise-devotee, squeamish at seeing him tossed around so viciously.
Truly, this film could be enjoyed by anyone of appropriate age, just as Liman’s Bourne movies were. It is well worth seeing in theaters with whoever you might bring. Get some popcorn, some Buncha Crunch. Slurp an ICEE. Edge of Tomorrow serves as a wonderful, exciting excuse to grab some action-packed air conditioning this summer.