*The last paragraph expresses short analysis for those who don't want to sit through the long read* I feel like I've written this before. . .Wait! I did! Dangit! Oh well, let's hope this review is better than tomorrow's review. That one wasn't all that great.
Confused yet? Good! This is what this film is selling: complexity. Though, when it comes down to it, Edge of Tomorrow is not much more than an action film with a twist. The plot is simple enough. A spokesman for the army named Cage, played by Tom Cruise, is sent to the front lines of battle against an alien invasion. There, he realizes that he is somehow caught in a time loop, allowing him to restart the day when he dies. Figuring out how cope with this power and what to do next naturally is a result of this. Some people were and still are incredibly against this film because its apparent lack of originality, feeling that the story was stolen from Groundhog Day. When it comes down to it, this film does feels like the love child of Groundhog Day and Independence Day (which I guess would make this film Indie Hog Day...). Though, truth be told, the film really is the offspring of a light novel and manga called All You Need Is Kill. For me personally, it doesn't matter. As long as they make a good film, I'm happy.
I've got to start my analysis with something that has been on my mind. . .
Emily Blunt, oh my God! John Krasinski, you are a lucky man. Beauty aside, Emily Blunt playing Rita Vrataski, aka the Angel of Verdun/Full Metal Bitch, is a force of nature. Her presence on screen is that of a lion tearing up the screen. Though, there is something deeper. Her performance could have easily been one note, without much depth based on the scenario alone. Props to everyone involved in the script for giving her more complexity than that. I won't go to the extend of saying it is Oscar territory, but she is nevertheless great. Something should also be said about how her character is not over sexualized, and wore relatively modest clothing. This is refreshing to me. They still show her fierce beauty, but they don't feel the need to use her as a suggestive billboard to sell the film. What they do sell is how bad-ass of a fighter she is. A question that needs to be had in my mind is who is the better fighter: Taurel from The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug or Rita Vrataski? Then there is the question of who is more beautiful? I won't give the answer as to not have one of them break up with me, but it is a question to be had.
Tom Cruise is also solid in the film. At first glance it appears that any good actor could have stepped into his role and it would have been just as good. When I gave a second thought though, I realize how much of a physical presence Tom Cruise has in the film. He is a master of doing his own stunts and it shows. His presence carries the film, and his meticulous concern to detail in the evolution of his character is something to watch even though it may not be evident at first thought because it is played out so seamlessly.
Acting aside, what really carries the film is its dynamite execution of its premise. Repeating the day over and over and over again etc., could have been incredibly tedious and boring even though it is an awesome concept. Edge of Tomorrow holds it together brilliantly, all the while breazing along at a joyous pace sprinkled with the perfect amount of humour.
What makes it that much more entertaining is how spot on awesome the action is. All the action appears to have been done with great care and it translates well to 3D, which I very rarely say. The invasion on the beach is reminiscent of Saving Private Ryan in the best way possible, without going past a PG-13 rating. The suspension is also built well when it needs to be and it his held in place by authentic emotion from the lead actors.
However with these positives out of the way, there is a few things bad enough about the film that they warrant discussion.
Every single one of the supporting characters feels like a cheap caricature I've seen a hundred times before.There is little to no human depth. That could be it, except the acting itself can be even worse. Even the ones acted well, aren't given the breathing room to be treated like humans. Bill Paxton, playing Master Sergeant Farell, probably does the best job with what he is given and provides humour where it is needed.
There is quite a bit of clichés and convenience with the film which I won't go into in full detail, as to not spoil the film for you. What I can say is that most of them revolve around the end (though not the very end), and explanations of plot points. This bleeds into the illogical strategy that is used in the film. Because I can't explain it without spoilers the next highlighted sentence will be slight SPOILER territory. It probably can be forgiven, but I can't help but feel there is gaping hole when it comes to not explaining flying out with a helicopter at the base for certain journey earlier in the film.
Now we all come to the inevitable question of whether this film works? My hesitation for this film was pretty big. I really didn't think it would be good, but thank goodness I take Rotten Tomatoes and IMDb ratings into account instead of just my preconceptions of what it would be. The answer to my question is yes. Edge of Tomorrow works. It is sci-fi action done right. The action is beautifully brutal and fun. Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt are great and their chemistry is even better. But even more, the execution of the premise is what make this film so good. With that in mind, it is worth seeing in theatre on the biggest screen possible, and in 3D (which I almost never recommend). Now, let's hope this review is good enough. I am tired of writing it for the 157th loop, or is it the 159th. . .
My Personal Preference: 4/5
How Well It Was Made: 4/5