I approach every new Tom Cruise film with an extra helping of trepidation and concern these days.
‘Jack Reacher’ (2012) was very entertaining but for me, ‘Oblivion’ was one of the worst films of 2013.
Cruise is the most bankable movie star around but that doesn’t always guarantee success.
Joseph Kosinski’s ‘Oblivion’ was essentially just 124 minutes of Tom Cruise being, well, Tom Cruise. The only way I could have disliked this film more than I would have been had I gone on some homicidal rampage killing everyone who had anything to do with the movie but alas, I resisted the urge and no one was harmed.
Cruise’s irksome association with ‘Oblivion’ aside for one moment, ‘Edge of Tomorrow’ is deceptively entertaining and at times, is highly comical.
Cruise turns 52 later this year and quite frankly he looks almost as youthful and full of beans as he did when starring in Tony Scott’s 1986 film ‘Top Gun’.
In ‘Edge of Tomorrow’, Cruise plays Major Bill Page, a poster boy for the United Defence Force who are currently fending off an alien invasion which threatens the future of the human race.
Reluctantly, Page is sent to the frontline to fight the aliens, known as Mimics. Page has no battle experience at all but after he kills a rare breed of Mimic he is caught in a time loop and re-lives the last 24 hours over and over again.
Page is puzzled as to why this is happening to him but after a quick conversation with Emily Blunt’s (‘Looper) Rita Vrataski, who also goes by the wonderful name of the Angel of Verdun, all is made clear.
Page must re-live the same day over and over again until he locates the central nervous system of the alien race and destroy it and them once and for all.
‘Edge of Tomorrow’ is definitely entertaining and Cruise is extremely enjoyable to watch but the film is awfully derivative.
It’s a case of ‘Saving Private Ryan’ meets ‘Full Metal Jacket’ with a dash of ‘Groundhog Day’ and an ever so subtle hint of ‘The Matrix’ trilogy.
The fact the film is derivative isn’t enough to discredit it because the action sequences are superb and director, Doug Liman (‘The Bourne Identity’) is a like a child in a toy shop when he starts to play with the time loop concept.
The only way Page can ensure he re-lives the day over and over is to die and this makes some for some very charming moments between both Cruise and Blunt.
Despite being 20 years his senior Blunt works tremendously well with Cruise and it’s perhaps the prominent roll she has had in a Hollywood blockbuster to date and after this performance it will most certainly not be her last.
English actress Blunt looked to be right at home when she was in the middle of the action sequences and at the ripe young age of 31 her future looks to be a very bright one indeed.
Liman’s movie is based on the Japanese light novel ‘All You Need Is Kill’ by Hiroshi Sakurazaka but he makes the film his own with his presentation of a war torn world and the scenes in and around Normandy are particularly riveting.
There are smaller parts for Irish heavyweight actor, Brendan Gleeson (‘Calvary’ and ‘The Guard’) and Bill Paxton (‘Aliens’ and ‘Apollo 13’) and both actors put in a satisfactory shift.
Some people might not like what they are about to read next but ‘Edge of Tomorrow’ is perhaps the best film Cruise has starred in since 2004’s ‘Collateral’ and there can be no question over his ability to get a laugh out of the audience watching.
Cruise is a bit like Marmite in the sense that you either love him or loathe him but he’s provided some of the most memorable moments in cinema history and whilst ‘Edge of Tomorrow’ will never be regarded as a classic it is a sound, entertaining and rip-roaring action/science fiction romp.
‘Edge of Tomorrow’ is currently screening at the Brunswick Moviebowl; for full cinema listings visit www.brunswickmoviebowl.com or telephone 02871 371 999.
VERDICT: 4 out of 5 - Director Doug Liman has never really lived up to promise he displayed when he made ‘The Bourne Identity’ but after ‘Edge of Tomorrow’ it is safe to say he has captured the magic once again.Based on a Japanese novel, Liman makes the movie his own with tremendous CGI scenery and action. Cruise and Blunt are the great on screen match and it’s perhaps Cruise’s best film since 2004’s ‘Collateral’. If it’s an entertaining night at the cinema you’re after then look no further.