I went to see “Edge of Tomorrow” with modest expectations after having read a variety of reviews that managed to praise the film’s premise while at the same time bashing the movie’s conventional predictable ending. I don’t have much to add that would contradict that consensus unfortunately, but the film does manage to be an occasionally entertaining ride for much of its 113 minute running time. The film was directed by Doug Liman who made a name for himself in 1996 with “Swingers” before moving on to action films like “The Bourne Identity” (2002) and “Mr. and Mrs Smith” (2005). “Edge of Tomorrow” features a scenario where our world is being invaded by an alien race known as Mimics (giant, spazzy, mechanical things with tentacles that look like they escaped from “Man of Steel”) that have managed to overrun all of Europe. Mankind arms their soldiers with giant exoskeletons to fight back and is now enjoying some success on the battlefield. The movie officially gets underway when Tom Cruise’s character is unceremoniously dumped on the front lines in a counter-invasion reminiscent of D-Day. It doesn’t take long for Cruise to meet a grisly fate but before he dies he kills an ultra-rare Alpha Mimic who bleeds all over Cruise as Cruise’s vision fades to black.
For reasons that are never satisfactorily explained, the blood of the Alpha Mimic gives Cruise the secret weapon of the Mimics, the ability to go back in time and correct one’s mistakes after dying in combat (making me wonder why they are in combat in the first place). Soon he finds himself in a situation where he is training aggressively with Emily Blunt’s character, the Full Metal Bitch, who used to have the same power as Cruise until a blood transfusion robbed her of the ability. Blunt is the best part of the movie by a large margin. The rest of the cast is at best one-dimensional, but Blunt just oozes confidence and sheer badassery every moment she is on screen. Without her, the movie would have been unwatchable. Once she learns of Cruise’s new power. she begins training him to win the war singlehanded as they refine and perfect their strategy to hunt down the giant pulsating brain thing that is at the heart of the Mimic’s hive mind. Cue the predictable shoot outs and semi-dramatic beats for the rest of the movie. For fans of science fiction, “Edge of Tomorrow” doesn’t offer any new concepts to excite one’s imagination. The easiest way for me to judge escapist entertainment is by gauging my level of interest in watching the movie again, which in this case is nil. This is one of those situations where the film is too bland and generic to get but so worked up about. My only real grievance is the lazy storytelling at the very end of the movie. Without giving too much away, the screenwriters disobey their own rules and logic they have established for the film. I’m a big believer that in the worlds of science fiction and fantasy, it is crucial to remain true to one’s story. In the case of “Edge of Tomorrow”, it feels as if the writers were ordered to tack an obligatory happy ending on to the movie and couldn’t be bothered to make it convincing or logical. I hope the film enjoys some commercial success if only to embolden Hollywood’s desire to make more original films that aren’t remakes or sequels, but as far as my own personal viewing experience is concerned, this is not a movie that I can wholeheartedly suggest to anyone.
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