While the jocular, Groundhog Day-inspired premise of Doug Liman’s Edge of Tomorrow (based on Hiroshi Sakurazaka’s novel All You Need is Kill) breeds inherently absorbing, unashamedly entertaining cinematic territory – akin to Source Code, for instance – this blockbuster struggles with the profound, forbidding elements of its narrative, resulting in a picture that while certainly playful and unreservedly enjoyable, lacks the depth required for it to truly stand out from the crowd.
Set in the future where mankind are engulfed in an insurmountable war against an alien species, we meet Bill Cage, played by Tom Cruise, who adamantly professes to not be a soldier – a sentiment ruthlessly ignored, as he’s thrown into the deep end, where he meets an untimely death in his very first battle. However, he wakes up the next morning to find that he has the chance to replay the entire day over again. While nobody believes his wild claims that he is living the same day over, the barbaric soldier Rita Vrataski (Emily Blunt) appreciates that this rare gift of infinite second chances could be used to identify the opposition’s weakness, and win this war. The problem is, every day Cage has to convince her of his story, in the longest ever practising of trial and error.
Liman’s background in comedy certainly proves to be advantageous in this feature, as when Cage awakes day after day, there’s a brilliantly playful tone, which makes it immensely easy to become immersed in. However with regards to the more grandiose, impactful aspects of the story which hold much greater implications we’re left wanting, as a distinct lack of context leaves too many questions unanswered. Nonetheless, Cruise ensures that we have a leading man to put our faith in, being an actor with incredible authority and dependability, that commands the audience’s attention at all times. That being said, his natural charisma does work against him – as Cage is just your regular Joe, and sadly Cruise struggles to appear, well, regular.
That being said, it takes little away from a thoroughly entertaining piece of cinema, that just goes to show there are accomplished blockbusters outside of the Marvel universe after all. Edge of Tomorrow does remain flawed, however, but let’s just say that if the day you saw this film for the first time was to be replayed over and over again, there are worse movies to indulge in.