After aliens named ‘mimics’ invade central Europe, it is up to a conglomeration of the world’s armies to stop them fighting onwards, creating a front on the French coast. William Cage (Tom Cruise) is one of these soldiers sent to fight in portable ‘mecha’ suits, however after being killed by the mimics he awakens a day before the attack, caught in an endless loop whereby him and superior solider Rita (Emily Blunt), must find a way to stop them in their tracks.
Despite a pretty generic ad campaign, making the film look like ‘another product’ of the blockbuster machine, Edge of Tomorrow proves to be a surprisingly fun time. The fight on the French coast which takes up a large proportion of the film, repeated many times as the protagonist begins the loop over and over, is as brutally violent as it is terrific fun. The sight of seeing the soldiers launched across the beach from the claws of the ‘mimics’ isn’t exactly a friendly sight, being quite sinister in fact, but this is perfectly counterbalanced by the films ‘comic-book’ approach to violence as for every dark act there is another action slide and quirky comment ready to balance the tone. This leads the film to depend on some clichés however, infrequently throughout, as the script reminds the audience of its blockbuster background with such generic lines such as ‘you’re a good solider Cage’ etc. etc. etc.
The looping narrative, used in countless films of the past, is kept contemporary here, preventing boredom through the use of intelligent cinematography, with time-lapses preventing the repetition of familiar scenes. The act of repetition itself is explained very efficiently leaving no continuity issues as we’re shown the repetition of even the smallest acts, such as discussing tactics, showing to be surprisingly entertaining again through the screenplay and cinematography, which intelligently shows us the painstaking repeated efforts of the protagonists. This is made all the more realistic through the fantastic performance of the two leads, Emily Blunt and Tom Cruise. Blunt, playing the rarely portrayed strong female character, does so tremendously, outperforming all her male counterparts to break the mould of female side-characters, with a complex persona and developed backstory. Cruise is as good as ever, perhaps better than average here however as his enjoyment in the role becomes transparent in his performance, taking on the role as a scared and desperate soldier with gusto and enthusiasm within a film well informed of its own identity.
Edge of Tomorrow should be embraced by audiences, not primarily because of its narrative quality and intelligence (though that is of course a winning factor), but because of its originality and charm. Not often does a standalone action blockbuster hit our screens with no announcement of a sequel before its release, and as a result, with few fans and conglomerate companies to answer to, Edge of Tomorrow shows to be a solidly entertaining film from start to finish.
7/10- A neat and tidy action packed blockbuster. What more could you want.