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Film review: Edge of Tomorrow

12:04 05 June 2014

Edge of Tomorrow

Edge of Tomorrow

(c) 2013 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.- U.S., Canada, Bahamas & Bermuda (c) 2013 Village Roadshow Films (BVI) Limited- All Oth

The concept of a time loop is not an original one and there are strong flavours of Bill Murray’s Groundhog Day, Jake Gyllenhaal’s Source Code and even Adam Sandler’s 50 First Dates in Tom Cruise’s latest sci-fi blockbuster.

The initial premise is fairly ridiculous as Major William Cage (Cruise), a military PR man with no combat skills, threatens a vengeful general and is consequently sent to the front line of a pivotal invasion against alien forces (Mimics).

Just as counter-productively, given that the battle will decide the fate of the world, no-one tells him how to use his futuristic ExoSuit or fire his weapons.

For a while, we see Cruise in an unfamiliar role as a useless coward – and a dead one. But, in dying, Cage unwittingly ingests the blood of a super-alien, an ‘Alpha’, stealing the enemy’s power to turn back time and learn from their mistakes.

Computer games have become increasingly cinematic, and here is a film which reverses that process. Through trial and error, Cage attempts to survive the suicidal beach landing in France, get on the front foot and hunt the alien leader. Whenever he is killed, he simply reverts back to the start and tries again.

Cage is aided by super soldier Rita Vrataski (Emily Blunt), who knows the value of his power and its potential to win the war. Cage trains with her before fighting alongside her every day, building up a relationship. But, for Vrataski, it is always the first time she has met him, which adds an extra, personal layer to the plot.

There is humour as well – some amusingly foolish fatalities, while Vrataski impatiently ‘resets’ Cage whenever he is injured in training, ie shooting him in the head.

Edge of Tomorrow may not be entirely original and it is fairly superficial, with limited intellectual or emotional stimulation.

However, it is not trying to take itself too seriously and, as long as viewers don’t expect too much depth, there is plenty to enjoy in this well-paced journey which never feels repetitive, despite the nature of the plot. A fun addition to the time-travelling genre.

Rating: Four stars

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