“Edge of Tomorrow” – Review By Zachary Marsh

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Don’t think you’re having Déjà vu when you watch the trailer for “Edge of Tomorrow,” because I can assure you that the concept of this movie has been done before.  The idea of someone repeating the same day over and over has been done before in films like the comedy classic “Groundhog Day” and the overlooked sci-fi spectacle “Source Code.”  However with “Edge of Tomorrow,” director Doug Liman surprisingly manages to squeeze some more originality out of this relatively overused concept.  In this movie we have Tom Cruise’s character, a demoted general in the Army, who finds himself in an ongoing loop as the world is fighting against alien beings trying to destroy all of humanity.  Emily Blunt’s character, a top-tier warrior in the Army who has had Cruise’s ability once before, helps to train Cruise day in and day out as the time is ticking on the survival of the human race.

I believe what elevated the movie so much for me was the story and the script. Christopher McQuarrie, Jez Butterworth, and John-Henry Butterworth not only created a movie that was smart and a lot of fun, but they also made a sci-fi that had a good sense of humor.  There are certain, I guess you can call them “montages,” that show Tom Cruise’s numerous deaths, and for the most part it made me laugh a lot.  It’s nice to have a film that knows when to take a break from all of the action and give the audience some time to breathe a little bit before the action kicks into full throttle once again.  Not to mention, I loved the ideas that the writers of this film presented, as well as all of the inner connections that certain characters have with Cruise’s ability.  The movie itself never felt tired, overlong, or even repetitive, and I give credit to these filmmakers for making something old feel new once again.

Doug Liman has directed both great films, like “The Bourne Identity,” and not so great movies, like “Jumper.”  This is one of his great movies in my eyes.  The way he shoots many of the action scenes is well-executed and allows the viewer to feel immersed in the battlefield.  Plus, he manages to get great performances out of his actors as well.  Liman even manages to use the post converted 3D well by actually allowing the 3D to feel like an open window into this futuristic world rather than just feeling like we’re watching a 3D movie in general.  While it’s not the best 3D conversion, it’s still better than most these days.  Overall, Liman manages to get solid performances from his actors, tell a really awesome story thanks to the script, and directs the action sequences in this film incredibly well.

What made Tom Cruise so great for me in this movie was that, well, he wasn’t exactly being Tom Cruise.  When he gets demoted and wakes up on the naval ship for the first time, he is absolutely baffled and acts clueless, unlike recent Cruise characters.  The character himself is really easy to sympathize with, thus making him a more engaging lead.  Emily Blunt, I guess, is playing the “Cruise” role in the film as the warrior who knows what is going on with Cruise and manages to help him.  I’ve always enjoyed Blunt as an actress, and here she finally manages to show off her tough, badass side, managing to make Tom Cruise look puny in comparison.  Their chemistry together was also really good, even if they did argue a lot for the most part.  This film also features entertaining side performances from Brendan Gleeson and Bill Paxton, the ladder who hasn’t really been in a great movie in a long time.  Everyone in the film is good overall, though everyone else is practically standing in the shadows of Cruise and Blunt by comparison.

If the superhero films of this year are getting a little too overwhelming, and you want to see a summer movie that is more than just explosions and things of that matter, then “Edge of Tomorrow” is your ideal option.  Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt are really good in the movie, showing that they can have fun with their performances along with giving really good performances in general.  The script and story are original, brisk, and lots of fun, though the whole concept of a “reliving the whole day” scenario has been done a good amount before.  Doug Liman manages to give audiences a fun summer blockbuster that never feels too long and is always investing in terms of the action and the story.  It’s a shame this movie didn’t do so well at the box office opening weekend, because this seems like a movie that lots of people would really enjoy.  But then again, that’s what cult-followings are for, right?  Overall, “Edge of Tomorrow” is a sleek, funny, smart, and awesome summer blockbuster that, aside from its rather quick ending, is a non-stop blast in the movie theater.

 

OVERALL SCORE: 9/10

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