D&D Mixed Reviews: Edge of Tomorrow

Edge of Tomorrow was distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures.

Edge of Tomorrow was distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures.

Hello and welcome to yet another D&D Mixed review. This week we saw the sci fi film Edge of Tomorrow. While the film looked like another futuristic Tom Cruise film was it any good?

As usual the review will be done by myself (Derek) and Denis, and will be split into four categories; plot, performances, production and overall film quality. We’ll end the review with a rating of See in Theatre, Wait for Rental or Pass. Before we get too deep into the proceedings here’s the basic plot of the film.

The film follows Major William Cage (Tom Cruise) a media consultant with the United Defence Forces, the combined military of all of earth’s major nations. The UDF fight against a alien race known as the Mimics. After five years of war, the majority of Europe has been taken by the aliens with little hope of winning for the EDF. The war turns around with the development of Jackets, mechanical exoskeletons that house weapons as well as enhance the power of the user.

When Cage is sent onto the front lines unprepared he watches his new unit and the EDF’s war hero Rita Vrataki (Emily Blunt) die in the battle. Shortly after he is killed in an explosion that takes out several over Mimics, he wake’s up in the day before. It seems that before his death he was given the power to relive the last two days after he dies.

After reliving the two days several times, he interacts with Rita. Shortly before he is killed she tells him that she had the same power as well. After he resets the two start training together and come up with a plan to destroy the aliens once and for all.

Plot:

While the plot might seem more like a retread of Groundhog Day, Edge of Tomorrow is very different. The film uses the basic idea to create a mash up of the Bill Murray film, Starship Troopers and popular war films like Saving Private Ryan and the mix is impressive. Despite the slow start, the film soon moves into a groove. The time travel is later explained and works in a world filled with giant alien creatures. This is one of the few times I’m at a lose for criticism as the film plot wise is pretty strong. I’ve not read the manga to which this is based upon but it seems like the story translated well onto the screen.

I was surprised when off the bat the movie wasn’t set in a post-world-almost-dead future filled with constant mech fights. Instead the world that is presented is not too far from our own. I like the fact that the story feels like it could take place in a few years from now. Also the sci fi concept of reliving a day over and over agin is very well plotted out and makes sense. Even the alien threat is so haphazard that it almost seems like the only way to survive these things is to memorize their movements. Simply put, the film does what many movies struggle to do. Realize a concept and develop a narrative that utilizes it with care. 

Performances:

Let’s get this out of the way; Tom Cruise is a good actor. He is, and he’s good in this film. While other actors like Blunt and Bill Paxton (as Master Sergeant Farell) are solid the majority of the film is spent with Cruise as he wobbles in a mech suit through the same battlefield for the majority of the film. Cruise puts a lot of emotion into his performance as his expression quickly changes from shock to depression as he relives the days over and over. Even the stunt work was impressive as this is a Cruise film and he ended up doing the majority of the work himself. So what I’m saying is, get use to seeing Cruise’s face in this film.

With a tight cast of Cruise and Blunt as the primary leads, Paxton and Mad Eye Moody as supporting military people everyone is solid. Our two leads are great and work well together. Especially Cruise who has to sell the concept and even show how repeating his days takes a toll on him. Blunt adds some delightful dry humour, and Paxton provides some moist humour. Or…fine lets go with moist.

Production:

The film was directed by Doug Liman of Bourne Identity and Swingers fame. His direction is effective as the actors give solid performances and the film’s visuals were also good. However, the film lacked many of the impressive shots that you’d expect from a major action film such as this. While the film is still about one man living the same two days over and over again there was the opportunity to create some cool set pieces. That’s not say that the film is devoid of large action scenes, but the few we get seemed like they were ripped from other films, most notably the beach invasion from either Saving Private Ryan or Band of Brothers. That being said the film’s world felt believable and the exoskeletons seemed like the were something that could exist today. Good all around.

Edge of Tomorrow was a solidly assembled film that accomplishes everything it needs visually and audibly. The battles look and sound hectic. The aliens sound and look intimidating and Blunt looked and sounded like a sassy british chick. Check marks all around. High Five people! We got an actual movie here! I barely have anything to say due to the shock of this film not sucking like other films I’ve seen. 

Overall:

As you can tell from above, I’ve had a hard time coming up with anything negative to say about Edge of Tomorrow. It’s a great film with a cool concept. It’s probably the smartest sci fi film that’ll be released this summer. It’s a no brainer, see this one. SEE IN THEATRE.

Edge of Tomorrow is worth you time. It does it’s concept justice, and provides a fun filmgoing experience. Not only that, but its a film we both agree is good and that means your contractually obligated to see this movie. SEE IN THEATRE. (And I will probably even get it on Bluray)

Edge of Tomorrow was written by Christopher McQuarrie, Jez Butterworth, John-Henry Butterworth and directed by Doug Liman. The film was distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures. The film was based upon the light novel/manga, All You Need is Kill written by Hiroshi Sakurazaka and illustrated by Yoshitoshi ABe. Both the novel and manga is available through Viz Media in North America.

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