Big Screen :: Edge of Tomorrow

June 17th 2014


There is no doubt that Edge Of Tomorrow looks awful.

The premise could believably be in a show business satire: where an idiot studio executive pitches a joke movie as being Groundhog Day meets Starship Troopers. Mix that up with a trailer that makes it look like a dour grey noisy slog and an awful generic title like “Edge Of Tomorrow”, and you are just asking to be ignored.

(Although, for a long time this was seriously supposed to be called “All You Need Is Kill“, which makes “Edge Of Tomorrow” not sound quite so bad…)

Even I had planned to happily skip it and review The Babadook this week, very confident that Edge Of Tomorrow would be worthless garbage. A delightful stomach bug though made me miss The Babadook, so dutifully I dragged myself to this one instead and I am shocked to report that it’s actually pretty good.

In case you missed it, the premise is that alien squid monsters have invaded Europe, and mankind are about to mount their last line of defence.

This consists of a full-scale invasion of France using soldiers in robot suits and Tom Cruise. Luckily, Cruise gets stuck in some sort of Groundhog Day time loop where he keeps living the invasion day over and over again until maybe we can win. And yes, I am aware that I am describing a movie that sounds like complete shit. Bear with me though because I am about to mount a half-hearted defense…

Contrary to the trailer, the movie is actual really light and funny. It plays around with its stupid premise in some really inventive and entertaining ways.

Tom Cruise is his usual super-committed self. I don’t hate the guy like most people do, but even if you do, you might enjoy watching him die hundreds of times. He plays a bit of a jerky media wuss thrown into the war very much against his wishes, which gives him an actual character arc. He learns from a grizzled badass soldier, who in every other movie would be played by a man but in this it’s the awesome Emily Blunt – who gives a great performance.


It’s also probably the first good movie that’s been informed by video games. It has a very gamey feel about it, and I mean that in a good way.

Look, I am not saying that this is a classic. The climax is a computer-generated mess, and the supporting cast is pretty terrible, but still I dunno? Maybe it was my extremely low expectations, and maybe I just haven’t seen an original science fiction film that’s been competently written and shot in a very long time, but I enjoyed this. It’s worth a look.


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