I had high hopes for Edge of Tomorrow after director Doug Liman‘s previous work on the similarly engaging films Go, Mr & Mrs Smith, and the first Jason Bourne film (why didn’t he stick around for the others? Paul Greengrass made a hopeless mess of them!) and I was so glad when he didn’t disappoint. (Okay, well, 2008’s Jumper was a definite mis-step, but anyway)
There’s also comedic potential in the ‘groundhog day’ effect of Cage having to relive the same day over and over, of which this movie makes great use.
I’ve rated this film highly because it’s the first summer blockbuster which actually delivers what it promises. There’s action from start to finish, either continuously or peppered throughout, so even if you’re not wholly satisfied by the occasional requirement for some exposition, then it won’t be long until another does of CRASH/BANG/WALLOP is on its way.
Edge of Tomorrow‘s premise, with Cruise having to relive the same day, until he gets everything right, reminded me of playing Dragon’s Lair in the arcade. Time after time, you work through each level, trying to figure out the precise route to safety until you can reach the final level and rescue Princess Daphne. Sadly, there’s no Daphne, but there is Emily Blunt. She’s not trapped in a giant bubble and guarded by a dragon, but you get the idea.
One thing that did seem odd is that the end credits begin with the recent-ish pop song “Love Me Again” by John Newman. Obviously, this has been thrown in because (a) there’s a tenuous link with “again” and a film where certain events repeat a lot, and (b) they want to get ‘down wiv da kids’ by instilling a tune that the yoof of today will recognise. This seemed probably the most ill-fitting choice of end credit music since 1992’s Single White Female ended with Donna Summer’s State of Independence. It just didn’t sit right. And on my way home from seeing this latest Tom Cruise movie, I heard Real Radio XS (why did they change their name from Rock Radio?) play Genesis’ Land of Confusion (below). Sure, it’s a much older song, but the lyrics felt a damn sight more fitting.
And one other observation which requires spoiler tags, so don’t read if you haven’t seen the film:
Running time: 113 minutes
Released: May 30th 2014
Format: 2.35:1 (Anamorphic Panavision)
Director: Doug Liman
Producers: Jason Hoffs, Gregory Jacobs, Tom Lassally, Jeffrey Silver and Erwin Stoff
Screenplay: Christopher McQuarrie, Jez Butterworth and John-Henry Butterworth (based on the novel “All You Need Is Kill” by Hiroshi Sakurazaka)
Music: Christophe Beck
Cage: Tom Cruise
Rita: Emily Blunt
General Brigham: Brendan Gleeson
Master Sergeant Farell: Bill Paxton
Skinner: Jonas Armstrong
Kimmel: Tony Way
Griff: Kick Gurry
Ford: Franz Drameh
Kuntz: Dragomir Mrsic
Nance: Charlotte Riley
Takeda: Masayoshi Haneda
Cruel Sergeant: Terence Maynard
Dr. Carter: Noah Taylor
Karen Lord: Lara Pulver
Julie: Madeleine Mantock
Infirmary Nurse: Assly Zandry
Young Soldier: Sebastian Blunt
Secretary – Iris: Beth Goddard
Granddaughter: Grace Hogg-Robinson
Dr. Whittle: Marianne Jean-Baptiste (uncredited)
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.