I’m a big science fiction fan, whether it’s in a book, a film, a video game, a comic book. I just love the genre and enjoy seeing the best of the bunch, and even the medicore, because they’re usually still damn entertaining. When the trailers were released for Edge of Tomorrow I was a little disappointed with what I saw. The synopsis sounded to be up my alley, but the trailers, in my view, just felt pedestrian and more of the usual, not really giving me any sort of excitement about seeing it. I missed in in the cinema for that reason, I just wasn’t too bothered about catching it on the big screen. Shoot forward to the home release of the film, and I’d heard lots of good things about the movie, so I picked up the Blu-ray and sat down to give it a whirl.
Directed by Doug Liman (The Bourne Identity) and based on the novel “All you Need is Kill” by Hiroshi Sakurazaka, Edge of Tomorrow (originally called “All you Need is Kill”) has since been renamed (kinda) Live, Die, Repeat: Edge of Tomorrow. A mouthful that did little to promote or help the movie. Tom Cruise (Oblivion, Top Gun) plays Cage, an officer who has never had to go into battle who finds himself being forced into a mission in which he is likely to bite the dust. When his attempts to get out of the mission prove futile, he is sent to war against an alien race who are invading Earth. When he dies within minutes of landing on the beach in which the war is blazing, he wakes up and finds himself back at the beginning of the ordeal, being introduced to the crew of soldiers he will be fighting alongside. When Cage realises that each time he dies he comes back to the same part, he tries to figure out a way to fight the aliens and end their devastating assault. He meets a soldier named Rita, played by Emily Blunt, the face of the war and a warrior, and she tells him that she had once gone through the same thing as Cage, reliving the same day. With each repeated attempt to stop the aliens, Cage and Rita learn more and more about how to stop them, and realise what it happening to Cage in the process.
It’s like Groundhog Day meets Mass Effect. Maybe not. But it’s a great concept that works brilliantly, and is thoroughly entertaining. Blunt and Cruise have a nice chemistry, and do a good job of driving the story. There are a few side characters, but none of them really spend much time on screen. It was cool seeing Brendan Gleeson as General Brigham and Bill Paxton as Master Sergeant Farell, both people I enjoy seeing, especially Gleeson. The film looks fantastic too, and the aliens, like a Cthulhu mated with a pit-bull, are well designed and look very cool. It isn’t the most original film, I have encountered similar concepts, but it is a concept I enjoy seeing revisited because there is so much you can do with it. I thought they did plenty with the idea and kept things moving quickly, keeping the twists and realisations regular enough to make sure it never got stale. Almost two-hours long, I was constantly glued to the screen, and was a little sad when it ended. It was that much fun.
Sure, there are plenty of sci-fi films that push boundaries and do things that are very unique and different, and while this might not fall under that heading, it is one of the most entertaining sci-fi action flicks that I’ve seen in the last couple of years, and the cast did a good job at adding some heart to the CGI-fest. There are some films I like to see using practical effects, but then there are some in which I don’t think would work if they didn’t use a gluttony of CGI, and this is one of them. The visual effects using computer software is necessary here, for the aliens, for the vast scenes of crazy alien war, and for the characters to do the insane things that they do during the movie. It didn’t stop me from enjoying the film, and it never will. Going forward there is going to be more and more CGI used in film, and so long as the story still grips me, and the characters are still given time to develop so I give a damn about them, well… I’m fine with it. The Blu-ray looks amazing too, and sounds bloody fantastic.
Edge of Tomorrow is out now on DVD and Blu-ray.