Edge of Tomorrow (2014)
Director: Doug Liman
Emily Blunt /Rita
Bill Paxton/Sergeant Farell
Brendan Gleeson/General Brigham
An alien invasion is upon us and wimpy Major William Cage (Tom Cruise) is slapped into an ExoSuit and thrown into battle. He dies quicker than you can spell "dead meat". Thing is, instead of entering the afterlife, he wakes up 2 days before the battle ever began and quickly realizes that the odd happening goes down every time he bites the farm. So he tags up with hot-lips Sergeant Rita Vrataski (Emily Blunt) and puts that new found skill to work in the name of "manning up" and helping the human race win the war.
All right, I get it, you can't go wrong with TOM CRUISE in a sci-fi flick! MINORITY REPORT, WAR OF THE WORLDS, OBLIVION and now EDGE OF TOMORROW! 10-4! Roger that! Based on Hiroshi Sakurazaka's novel All You Need Is Kill (they should have kept to that title IMO, it grabs ya), I had high hopes for Doug Liman's high end/tech take on the groundhog-day game. And for the most part I wasn't disappointed. It is somewhat ironic or planned that EDGE OF TOMORROW was released today, which of course marks the 70th anniversary of D-Day, the day when Allied troops stormed the beaches of Normandy in Nazi-occupied France and changed the course of WW2; as the film has its own version of the said historical event... but with tentacle whipping aliens. Coincidence? I doubt it.
The first thing that took me aback here was just how funny the movie was. The dialogue was witty, the sight gags hit home and for a huge chunk of the film, Cruise pretty much made fun of his “action-man” image. Of course, he did eventually become an uber-badass, but his trek to get there was hilarious and not in a forced way, but in an organic and circumstantial fashion. Moreover, the humor helped make the “live, die repeat” angle go down smoother than it should've had. Instead of redundancy, I felt anticipation as to what was gonna happen next. Well played! Tom Cruise was on top (gun) of his game here! Half the witty and slimy Jerry McGuire and half skull crushing Ethan Hunt. His performance was endearing and he gets mucho props for doing so many of his own stunts. I'll always respect Cruise for being such a hands on and physical actor. He made for a leading man to care and root for via his imperfections and his eventual "killing-machine" character arc. Brendan Gleeson was amusing as the stone-faced General and Emily Blunt was credible as well. She was in “action-girl” mode here (loved how she wielded that helicopter blade sword), oozed presence and the camera simply loved her (all about her rising up from that Yoga position - sexy stuff). Last but not least, it was a treat to see the great Bill Paxton used the right away in a sci-fi flick again. The Paxt stole every scene he was in with that smug smile and Kentucky twang! I couldn't get enough of the lad! He killed me! I'm smiling just thinking about his role...lol!
Action wise; we got a slew of well shot shoot-outs and battle scenes that slapped a smile on my face (although I could have done without the random quick-cutting that resulted in me not seeing everything). When Timmy Cruise went all out with his ExoSuit artillery I was in wam-bam heaven! Add to all that jive detailed and grounded in reality production designs (the settings were visually striking and the ExoSuits, which were created practically, blew my mind, the money was definitely on the screen here), some well choreographed fist-to-alien-faces-cuffs sequences, powerful sound design and inspired directing moments by Mr. Liman and you get a seat party at the theaters! NOTE: I saw the flick in IMAX 3D. The IMAX experience was ideal for a film of this ilk, but personally the 3D didn't add much to the experience. Just trying to save ya some coin! END OF NOTE.
On the flip-side, although I dug what I got, I felt that the beach action scenes could've had been taken further. I craved to go deeper into the battle, see it from others perspectives (like follow Paxton around further for example) and simply have more of it. The alien designs also didn't do it for me; too deja-vu and CG heavy for my liking. I kept thinking of the “Sentinels” from The Matrix. The movie was pretty ace at taking its familiar elements and making them seem fresh – EXCEPT for its otherworldly beasties. Finally, the score (composed by Christophe Beck) was not rousing enough for my liking, the last act lost a bit of steam and although I do understand the ending, I can't say it greased me right. The film left me on a "oh, okay" note as opposed to a F*CK YEAH one. With that, if there's ever to be a sequel... it should be interesting...
Overall though, I had a swell time with EDGE OF TOMORROW, it slyly transcended the now tired “groundhog-day” device to deliver a gripping, surprisingly funny, eye popping and action heavy ride! So are you gonna join the battle or what? Climb into your battle suit and dive in! CHARGE!
Other than a face burning away, aliens taking punishment and some light blood, not much.
T & A
Emily Blunt in spandex was more enticing than most Hollywood bimbos butt naked.
EDGE OF TOMORROW was, to put it simply, a f*ck load of good times! It was humorously clever, action driven, stylishly shot and inventive when it came to taking a tired plot device (groundhog-day) and having lots of fun with it while making it seem new! On top of that; Tom Cruise was on fire here! He handled the laughs and the badass like the champ that he is! The lovely Emily Blunt was effective too and the screen was elevated every time Bill Paxton popped up! Love that dude! Granted, the "oh-hum" alien designs left me cold, the last act didn't wow me as much as the first two that preceded it and the ending underwhelmed, but on the whole, although I didn't LOVE IT TO DEATH like everybody I saw it with, I did enjoy the shite out of it. The film is definitely worth a big screen experience. See it this weekend!
There is now a manga version of All You Need Is Kill with illustrations by Takeshi Obata available for purchase. There's also an American graphic novel take on the novel written by Nick Mamatas.
It took them over 4 months to build the battle suits for the movie. No CGI here, they were all practical.
Jeremy Piven eventually joined the production, but his scenes wound up on the cutting room floor.