02/06/2014

Edge of Tomorrow

When Locke was released in April Twitter was awash with complaints from those who went in expecting a thriller and got a car-based drama instead. I bring it up because the numerous posters and adverts for Edge of Tomorrow make it look like a standard alien invasion movie where Tom Cruise gets to run, ride a motorcycle and be the hero. He does that, obviously, but Doug Liman's first film in four years and his first decent film since The Bourne Identity is a hell of a lot more than that.

Cruise plays against type (at first) as Major William Cage, a sleazy PR man whose military uniform does a good job of disguising what a coward he is. As Earth is fighting a losing battle with an alien race and someone needs to take the heat for all the dead bodies, General Brigham (Brendan Gleeson) throws Cage on the frontline despite his lack of training. Surprisingly he dies within a few minutes of landing/falling into the war zone but he finds himself starting the day over again each time he dies, re-setting the day and giving humanity a chance to win an unwinnable war. 

It will be easy for many to lazily tag this as "Starship Troopers meets Groundhog Day" but unlike last year's Oblivion which was boring, bland and failed to be its own film, Edge of Tomorrow is a clear amalgamation of several movies but does something completely new at the same time. Liman has said that this film is for people who hate Tom Cruise as well as his fans because he dies hundreds of times. Each time he resets the day it's due to various hilarious incidents that keeps the gimmick going far longer than it probably deserves to. The plot fizzes along with both Cruise and Emily Blunt's "Full Metal Bitch" bouncing off each other wonderfully; it's a genuine joy and delight to watch.

Although I still think the ending was a massive disappointment everything that comes before it is so great all can easily be forgiven. The release of a TOM CRUISE FILM always feels like there's a tremendous amount of pressure for it to succeed because Tom's bankability isn't as certain as it used to be. Luckily for those of us who never forgot how talented he is has been treated to his best performance and film for some time and those who doubted will now have to respectfully take a seat and shut up. X-Men, Godzilla, Captain America and every other big movie of 2014 so far are also welcome to do the same because Edge of Tomorrow has easily bested them, shit ending or not.