EDGE OF TOMORROW Movie Review
This is a SPOILER-FREE review of the film.
It’s been less than two hours since I left the Toronto premiere of Edge of Tomorrow and it’s been less than 10 minutes since I got home, but I couldn’t wait any longer to get on my computer to talk about this movie. Let me first start by giving you a couple of tidbits about the movie. Edge of Tomorrow is an adaptation of a book by Hiroshi Sakurazaka (that was also adapted into a manga) called All You Need Is Kill. I’ve never read the book or the manga so I can’t speak to how the film compares to it, but I just thought I’d give any interested parties a heads up.
I’m still reeling from the whole night and I don’t even quite know where to begin… Let me start with a really bold statement:
Edge of Tomorrow is one of my new favorite action sci-fi movies. Ever.
Last year had brought a movie that topped my list and that was Guillermo del Toro’s Pacific Rim. For those of you who know me and for those of you who don’t, I love the crap out of that movie, so please note what a big freaking deal it is when I say that I might love Edge of Tomorrow even more. They’re different movies and Pacific Rim falls under a more fun, hokey and mindless kind of action movie, but they’re both in the same general sci-fi action genre.
We’re given action almost right away and the film doesn’t let up for a second in its 113-minute clock time. The film stars Tom Cruise who proves that he’s still a Hollywood A-lister that can bring it. I feel like I haven’t loved him in anything for a while and that may largely be due to me not loving films like Oblivion and Jack Reacher, but he did kick some serious ass in the last Mission: Impossible film. I love those movies and it should also say something that I think Edge of Tomorrow is Tom Cruise’s best work in a while and maybe ever. This role feels like it was written for Cruise and he fits into it wonderfully well alongside Emily Blunt who I straight up know I have never loved more until now. Anyone leaving this movie without a crush on Emily Blunt, man or woman, is not actually watching the movie. Without Blunt in this role, I don’t honestly know if Cruise would’ve been as effective. Blunt brings it as Rita Vrataski aka the “Full Metal Bitch” (you guys just watch that become a trending hashtag as soon as the film is out) and proved to me that skinny, beautiful actresses can get just gritty and badass as any actor in the industry. She’s like a mix of Marcus Fenix, Squall Leonhart and maybe even Calhoun from Wreck-It Ralph.
Edge of Tomorrow almost feels like a mashup of Gears of War meets Groundhog Day meets Final Fantasy meets The Matrix. You would think that a sci-fi action flick like this would be pretty serious and dark, but it has honest-to-goodness great bits of comedy in it that give you a break from constantly being on the edge of your seat.
Getting back to some of the actors and actresses in the film though, aside from stellar performances from Blunt and Cruise, Bill Paxton surprised the heck out of me in the film and also Brendan Gleeson, despite not being in it for very long. However, I doubt that any of you are surprised to find out that Gleeson was awesome in something. Jonas Armstrong, Tony Way, Kick Gurry, Franz Drameh, Dragomir Mrsic and Charlotte Riley are perfect as J-Squad and Noah Taylor (who you probably know best as Locke in Game of Thrones) was an excellent addition to the movie too. Honestly, just a super big ol’ well done to the casting team for this one.
There are incredible action sequences that are paired with stunning special effects (I saw the film in UltraAVX 3D). The 3D is very much in your face with bullet, shrapnel and explosions coming at you throughout the film. I didn’t care for this so much as it makes me super jumpy, but this might honestly be my biggest nitpick about the film. Whether you see it in 3D or not, Edge of Tomorrow will be one of those movies that you should see in theaters to get the complete package. It’s no secret that there are aliens in the film as it’s an alien invasion movie and the bad guys are done pretty spectacularly. They aren’t overly done and in fact, the design for them is seemingly fairly simple and straightforward, not unlike the design for the sentinels in The Matrix. Their movements and behaviorisms are so effective though and genuinely strike terror into you in the moments that they’re meant to.
Where Pacific Rim has many holes in its story that become really apparent if picked at, Edge of Tomorrow holds up pretty nicely in that department. It’s a tight story that is so jam-packed with all the right things that even if there were blatant plot holes, I can’t imagine many people wanting to poke at them. The tagline for the film is Live. Die. Repeat. and you might think that the premise would make the film repetitive and boring, but I assure you that that’s not the case. Unlike a film like Vantage Point where you’re perpetually living the exact same moments over and over again but from different perspectives, the only thing that remains the same in Edge of Tomorrow is the day. Each scenario vastly changes and each one offers something relevant to the plot and entertaining to audiences. Kudos to Christopher McQuarrie, Jez and John-Henry Butterworth for the brilliant adaptation.
I haven’t even gotten to the part where I say stuff about Doug Liman as a director for this film, but I feel like by now you know that I adored every minute of the film. I didn’t have super high hopes for the film going into it, but once I saw Liman’s name attached to it, I started to really get my hopes up. You may recall Liman as a director from Mr. & Mrs. Smith and The Bourne Identity (and more, of course), but the latter of those two was what really made me feel like Edge of Tomorrow could be a great success.
I honestly don’t even know if I need to include this. If you haven’t deduced that you need to see this film, I don’t know how much clearer I can make things. This is THE must see movie of the summer that might not have been on your radar previously. If the right people take notice, this will definitely be a success for the folks over at Warner Bros. and rightfully so.
Great story, special effects, cast and pacing has skyrocketed Edge of Tomorrow to the top of my favorite movies list. Don’t miss it.