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Edge of Tomorrow - Film Review

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by Aaron McDonald (subscribe)
Love sharing my passion for cinema. Tastes tend toward mainstream with an occasional dabble in arthouse and classics. Follow me on Twitter @melbmovieguy.
Published June 11th 2014
Edge of Tomorrow movie poster
Edge of Tomorrow

When I first saw the trailers for Edge of Tomorrow, I remember thinking it looked just like a sci-fi version of Groundhog Day and, on the surface, this is an accurate interpretation.

Some believe that there are no new stories to tell, just various ways to combine different elements of stories already told. If this is the case, the skill of the storyteller lies in the creative and interesting selection of existing story elements available, and combining them in ways not seen before (or different enough from what we've seen before), in which case, the makers of Edge of Tomorrow, writers Christopher McQuarrie, Jez Butterworth and John-Henry Butterworth (based on the novel All You Need Is Kill by Hiroshi Sakurazaka) and director Doug Liman have done their job well, using the basic elements of Groundhog Day, but throwing in a few variations and twists (no details- I don't do spoilers), to keep it interesting for the audience.

Earth has been invaded by an extra-terrestrial race called Mimics. Delivered to Europe courtesy of an asteroid, they have begun a relentless spread from the crash site, radiating out, unchecked by the united forces humanity has cobbled together to combat this alien menace. Unchecked, that is, until the battle of Verdun, where mankind win their first victory, led by the almost supernatural combat skills of Rita Vrataski (played by the always consistently good Emily Blunt).

Tom Cruise is Major William Cage, a non-combat officer whose PR talents are utilised to create recruiting campaigns designed to inspire patriotism for planet Earth, and have young Earth men and women sign up to defend our home. Cage is an unlikely hero, a self professed coward, whose insubordination sees him running afoul of the general in charge of combat operations, and unwillingly pressed into combat duties.

As expected, Cage (assigned to the rag-tag 'J' Squad, is a complete disaster on the battlefield, and has the life span of a March Fly, and that should be that! Except for the fact that, during the fray, Cage has somehow picked up the interesting ability to relive the same day over and over again. More disturbing, though, no-one believes him, thinking him crazy. All except The Angel of Verdun herself, special forces soldier Vrataski, who not only believes Cage's crazy story, but has experienced the same phenomena during the battle of Verdun.

Master Sgt Farell
Master Sgt Farell

They team up, and together attempt to use this unexpected ability to change the course of the war, in humanity's favour.

Edge of Tomorrow has a good mixture of action, suspense, comedy, and even a little bit of romance (although this aspect is not too obvious or laboured as it so often is in big box office films), and many of the supporting cast are memorable, but not intrusive in their part. Of particular note are Bill Paxton, relishing his larger-than-life, gung-ho Master Sergeant Farell, and Noah Taylor as the brilliant though slightly unhinged Dr Carter.

All-in-all, a very satisfying cinema experience; even the 'Hollywood' happy ending makes sense within the logic of the film's story, and creates a feeling of completeness, rather than feeling tacked on or forced.


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When: Now showing
Where: In cinemas now
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