Edge of Tomorrow is a film which seems to have been timed for release to coincide with the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landings because that’s essentially what’s on show here, although the Germans have been replaced by aliens.
After discussing the impending assault with General Brigham (Brendan Gleeson), Major William Cage (Tom Cruise) inadvertently finds himself taking part in it, despite never having trained in combat. He’s cleverly dumped into a situation where everyone thinks he’s a new recruit, so he gets treated like something that’s been scraped off a shoe by Master Sergeant Farell (Bill Paxton) and there’s not much love from J-Squad, with whom he’s teamed up. After a much-needed training session, it’s the day of the assault. Everyone seems to get picked off one by one, Cage blows away a few aliens but then one towers over him just after being shot, and drips acidic blood all over his face, killing him. Nice!
For reasons he doesn’t yet know, he reincarnates back on base, to the point where he’s arrived as a new recruit, eventually thinking he can convince them he shouldn’t be there due to his real rank, and save his own selfish hide. Since this doesn’t look like it’s going to be the case, he’s forced to ‘reset the day’ and live it again to try and complete the assault. One day he meets Rita (Emily Blunt), known as the “Full Metal Bitch”, and after he gets across his repetitive plight to her, she tells him to come and find her when he next dies and wakes up again. We learn that she used to be in the same boat, but as we learn, Rita also had the ability to live/die/repeat’, as the film’s tagline gives it. Hence, if she couldn’t get from A to B to sort out the baddies, then she would have to bump herself off if that situation hadn’t already occurred. For reasons you’ll discover during the film, she no longer possesses this ‘gift’, so it’s basically up to Cruise to save the day, as usual.
Everyone in the main cast is on top form here.
Emily Blunt is always stunning, and clearly has spent a lot of time in the gym to perfect her ‘guns’ (above), something the film never tires of showing us, as it often replays the time when the two leads first meet, just as she’s exercising. Her recent Graham Norton Show appearance, sadly, proved that she hasn’t kept up the work.
Paxton is fantastic as the Master Sargeant you’ll love to hate, really enjoying the care-free authorian role.
Brendan Gleeson’s appearance as the General who sends Cage into battle is far from a stand-out role in any way, and the screen time is brief, but it’s a testament to just how good Gleeson is that Hollywood picked him for a role in a major blockbuster over all manner of actors they could’ve chosen.
And there’s good support from the members of the J-Squad cast, including Jonas Armstrong (Robin Hood) and Tony Way (Sightseers), whose relationship with their new recruit will be unveiled as you watch it.
Oh, and I went to see this film in 2D, because that’s how it was filmed. Yes, there are 3D and IMAX versions out there, but none of it was shot in 3D – all that was added in post-production – and absolutely none of it was filmed with IMAX cameras, either, so you’re paying extra for nothing at all.
Go to page 2 for more thoughts on the film.
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.