Based on Hiroshi Sakurazaka’s brilliantly-named novel ‘All You Need is Kill’, Doug Liman’s sci-fi spectacular Edge of Tomorrow is one of the smartest and most adult blockbusters to hit our screens this year.
Set in the future, mankind is at war with an alien species (think some kind of oily, spidery, tentacled, rolling glob…hard I know!), and in a slightly bizarre twist of fate, is preparing for a new-age D-Day style invasion against the aliens – think Saving Private Ryan with hi-tech gadgetry and uber-weapons – when cock-grinned pen-pushing PR man Lt. Col. Bill Cage (Tom Cruise) is sent up to the front line, with his impending death looming and certain. However, every time he dies he reawakens to the morning of the invasion, and relives the day, slowly learning more about the weaponry, fighting techniques, and alien behaviour, each time bettering his previous lifespan. Only he can unlock the key to defeating this invading race, and with the help of she-warrior Rita Vrataski (Emily Blunt) and a group of jarhead soldiers, he has the team to do it.
Tom Cruise may not be the most liked man on the planet, and he certainly burnt a lot of kudos with his past shenanigans on Oprah, and his outspoken bullshit on Scientology, but the guy has certainly got leading-man charisma. Like Minority Report, he has proven that his determined stare and action abilities are well-suited to sci-fi, and he plays Bill with enough tongue-in-cheek to keep us very entertained. His pairing with Emily Blunt, who plays the foil to his cocky Lieutenant, is a great match, and they have a decent on-screen chemistry to keep the anticipation rolling.
Liman doesn’t just deliver on action and spectacle – the aliens are brilliant, the backdrop is awesome, and the set-pieces spectacular – but the dialogue keeps us grinning with some cheeky laughs, and in-jokes, as Bill acts out this nightmarish ‘groundhog day’ day in, day out. Liman’s team has also shown a keen eye for detail and a wild imagination when it comes to the weapons and mecha-suits, which are mega eye-candy. What more, Liman even gave us some of the best bits to watch more than once, each time giving a new take or differing angle on the action, so it never wanes, and never bores. Edge of Tomorrow set the bar for sci-fi blockbusters of 2014, and hasn’t really had much in the way of competition this year – with X-Men, Godzilla, Guardians, and Apes all falling short of this intelligent action (which was made to be seen in IMAX 3D). [4/5]