Starring: Tom Cruise, Emily Blunt, Bill Paxton, Brendan Gleeson
Directed by: Doug Liman
Written by: Christopher McQuarrie, Jez Butterworth, John-Henry Butterworth
Rating: PG-13 (US) Running Time: 1 hr 53 min
If you’ve read any of the advanced reviews and comments about Edge of Tomorrow, you will have likely heard comparisons to several other movies. Movies like Starship Troopers, The Matrix and Groundhog Day. Those comparisons are accurate when talking about this movie, and to say that Edge of Tomorrow is very derivative is an understatement.
Usually though that term is used as a negative, suggesting this movie is just another recycled Hollywood action film trying to cash in on old box office victories. That may be true for Edge of Tomorrow, but at least they picked a particularly cool mix of films to base their work on. I would also argue that most movies are a derivative of some other film or story, it’s all a matter of degree.
How many completely unique stories are their? How many films have you seen that take their cues from Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet? How many times have we seen the underdog succeed and win the day, or cowboys drawing pistols at noon?
Edge of Tomorrow will remind you of a few other films, that’s a given, but it’s not a blatant and bland copy of those other films. It takes these ideas and blends them in a very entertaining way, and sets them against a war-time attack reminiscent of the Normandy landings. It also has some fun with the time travel aspect of the film, and there are some genuinely hilarious moments to enjoy.
On the technical side of things, the editing, visuals and sound effects work are very impressive. Performances from Tom Cruise, Emily Blunt and Bill Paxton are also solid, and I really enjoyed watching Cruise play against type and start this story as the coward trying everything he can to stay out of the action. The script also does a great job of moving the story forward, but in a way that never forgets where the characters are within the larger narrative’s time-line.
Is Edge of Tomorrow as good as the films it uses for inspiration?
Not quite, but it’s also not a complete waste of your time either, and if you’re simply looking for great action and entertainment with a time travel twist – Edge of Tomorrow blends its obvious ingredients well and serves up a fun summer blockbusting treat.
If you have somehow never seen the other films I have mentioned in this review, and you’re into your action science fiction, there’s a good chance you are going to love this. If you have seen those movies, then your enjoyment of this film will depend on whether you’re willing to give the derivative nature of this film a pass.
The action on the beach is pretty intense, and the visual effects are very impressive. There are also some big laughs to be had here so a crowded matinée or full price showing is recommended. At home a HD viewing on your TV is the way to go. Watching this on your laptop, Tablet or phone will seriously reduce the impact of this film.
I enjoyed Cage’s (Tom Cruise) training and frequent mistakes and injuries – and subsequent executions by Rita (Emily Blunt)!