Edge of Tomorrow should not work as well as it does. It stars Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt, two actors who on paper promise the on-screen chemistry of a couple of potted plants. But, despite all the odds, these two make a powerfully entertaining duo. Matching oh-so-serious attitudes with a playfulness that lifts proceedings, the heroes of the film are consistently captivating.
I’d heard a couple of people liken this film to Source Code, a comparison which I can only put down to the fact that both play on the looping of short periods of time. In all other respects the films are quite different, and Edge of Tomorrow has, in my opinion, the far more compelling narrative. Set in the near future after an alien race named Mimics has taken over parts of Europe, the story follows cowardly Major William Cage (Cruise) who, by a twist of fate on the battlefield involving the consumption of Mimic blood, is doomed to repeat the same day of combat over and over. Desperate for answers, he seeks the help of Sergeant Rita Vrataski (Blunt), a war hero who knows more than she lets on, and the two begin a mission to track down the ‘Omega’, the hive mind of the alien force threatening humanity.
The script handles its themes of recurrence with effortless style and buoyancy, never once deflating or deviating too far from its central concerns. Surprisingly in tune with each other, Cruise and Blunt display a refreshingly confident handling of their characters’ relationship, and happily steer clear of the trappings of banal Hollywood romance. Focused and comical, Edge of Tomorrow is the perfect blockbuster: one which matches its superb action scenes with spirited acting, and wraps it all up in a run-time which doesn’t overstay its welcome.
FINAL VERDICT: ★ ★ ★ ★