Critics Rating:3.5 STARS*
Cast: Tom Cruise, Emily Blunt
Produced:Erwin Stoff, Tom Lassally, Jeffrey Silver, Gregory Jacobs, Jason Hoffs
Dystopian universes and invading species seem the flavour of the season, at least from the Hollywood line-up that finds itself on shore here. Edge of Tomorrow is basically a Pacific Rim meets Source Code concept, which more than delivers on its promises.
Planet Earth is on the brink of abject doom, thanks to a vicious alien race. Major William Cage (Tom Cruise) is a brash, former advertising executive, who can sell the triumphs of meritorious super soldiers like Rita Vrataski (Emily Blunt) with his winning smile. A handy skill, but not something that moves General Brigham (Brendan Gleeson) who insists that the battle-shy (an understatement) officer go to the frontlines of the war, a camera crew in town.
After an unsuccessful attempt to weasel out of it, Cage is stranded at the Forward Operating Base in Heathrow with fabricated papers on his past branding him a deserter. With no choice and zero battle experience, the Major is thrown into the conflict vis-à-vis a Normandy-esque landing. It takes a couple of untimely demises on the front to make him realise that the fateful day plays out in a loop, resetting each time he dies. Cage needs to get his act together and enlist the support of the formidable Vrataski in order to save the day.
Edge of Tomorrow is adapted from the Japanese young adult novel All You Need Is Kill by Hiroshi Sakurazaka, which takes the basic premise of the hostile aliens, the lethal battle jackets and the United Defence Force, but does away with the lengthy backstory on the extraterrestrial beings and a grimmer climax. This is the cleaner, Hollywood-ised version that packs quite an incredible punch in action scenes and slips in little interpersonal nuances.
Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt are visibly in top form, having trained and executed their own stunts. The 3-D is used slightly better effect than usual and would make for great viewing on an IMAX screen.
The biggest plus is the pacing in the story, which is unhindered by the consistent loop that Cage has to plunge into. There are scenes that introduce a repetition in pattern and other off-tangent bits that will hold your interest since they provide alternate scenarios of the same day.
Edge of Tomorrow has an unrelenting pace. While the audience may understand the rhythm and grind of Cage’s day on constant replay, there are still edge-of-the-seat moments that up the ante. The climactic duel is heart-pounding and the final note on which the film ends may seem abrupt to certain viewers but fits in with the theme of the film. Plus, it’s more hopeful than the end of the source material.
Edge of Tomorrow is a welcome addition to the list of summer blockbusters and in the imagination of the audience members who have another sci-fi film to replay in their heads long after the lights have brightened and John Newman’s ‘Love Me Again’ has faded from the end credits. They should probably launch a video game spin-off soon.