Skyrocketing past my expectations, Edge of Tomorrow is bloody good fun with Tom Cruise as you've never seen him before: As a coward. 2014 was a truly good year for film and this is one of the highlights, and also stands as Doug Liman's finest piece of work.
When Earth is invaded by a vicious alien race known as the Mimics, the coast of France becomes the front line. On that front line is Lt. Bill Cage, an inexperienced public affairs officer who is de-ranked and forced to fight, and dies within five minutes. Then, he wakes up. Cage has been in contact with the blood of the Mimics, he has the ability to reset the day upon dying. He lives, he dies and he repeats the day, getting stronger and more skilled along the way, now it's up to Cage and the ultimate warrior Rita Vrataski to stop the invasion.
Some of my favourite films feature time loop scenarios, from Source Code to Triangle, and now Edge Of Tomorrow is among them, reinvigorating the repeat narrative adding a fresh twist and style to it. The backstory behind the resetting the day is superbly explained, the amount of times Cage comes back never gets boring, just more and more exciting. Exposition never gets too pandering and lazy either which is refreshing, though I disliked the newspaper reel and clip opening, I hate that in films and I can't forgive this film for featuring one.
I hate it when people say that they "feel like they were in the film", it gets annoying but I'm going to contradict that and say that I truly felt immersed into this movie, Edge Of Tomorrow's enormous and chaotic war scenes are so big and open you feel like you're on the front line with Cage: Shocked, amazed, overwhelmed and blown away. The build-up is tremendous, it sets up the anticipation and fear of going into battle, and when the drop ships rise into the sky and make their way to the beach you know you're in for a spectacle.
The cinematography and camerawork is phenomenal, mostly consisting of wide shots and establishing shots, every angle of the chaos is captured. The camera moves briskly, any moment the Mimics are going to hit, you are just waiting for something to go down and Doug Liman sets the action up with style. The explosions, the meteors, the gunfire, sand lifting up into the air, it's a beautiful mess. Watching Tom Cruise run from a fireball in an eco-suit brings nerd tears and when he dives into Rita, taking out two Mimics before the drop ships explodes left me gobsmacked. The action shots here are enough to make Michael Bay green with envy, and in 3D the experience is wholly enveloping and one of the best uses of the technology in a while.
The special effects are something to behold and they are used in most scenes, but the cast don't fall behind, they ignite the screen. Tom Cruise is not playing a tough, cool guy, he brings a sense of isolation to the screen, he's out of his comfort zone completely and I loved his ignorant personality in the earlier scenes. He develops becoming one hell of a fighter, Cruise is just excellent.
Emily Blunt is one big factor for me seeing this movie, damn she's talented and in this latest adventure, a total badass. She plays Rita Vrataski, the poster girl for the war, but behind the hero is an emotionally cut off woman. You watch her in other movies and you can see how extensive her range is. She looks ferocious in a robotic suit, and watching Blunt fight with a modified helicopter blade is totally awesome! If anything, a cast has never looked so good before, the suits are the coolest and best designed pieces of kit I've seen in a film and the turmoil the cast went through wearing these chunky suits is worth it, they look like proper fighters.
This is a proper blockbuster filled with mind blowing special effects, jaw dropping 3D, tremendous storytelling and a whopper of a cast who really perform at their best. Tom Cruise is a movie star that remains eminently watchable, as is Emily Blunt who continues to amaze, these two are a dream team and director Doug Liman utilises them and his big budget to great effect.