Suave, cool, courageous. These are all words normally associated with Tom Cruise’s characters. Imagine my surprise when William Cage, Cruise’s latest role, turns out to be nothing more than a coward, scared at the sight of blood and more concerned with saving his own skin that the welfare of others.
It makes a refreshing change, and also gives the audience a chance to see Cage really grow as a character through the film. In fact this growth is integral to the way the movie plays out.
The story-line itself toys with the idea of time travel, looping through the same events over a day but in an intriguing enough fashion that you never get tired of watching the same scenes play out again and again. Think of it as a more action packed, darker version of Groundhog Day with Cage dying and reliving the same day over and over again. While the plot is action-heavy, and quite intense at times, the best moments come when Cruise pokes fun at himself, dying in humorous ways and his version of the Wilhelm scream will leave you chuckling, I guarantee it.
The special effects are quite well done, and I often forgot that most of the action I was viewing on screen was totally digital. Doug Liman’s tight directing and well chosen shots make the action taking place on screen easily watchable without the confusing blur and shaky cam that seem to plague a lot of action films of late.
But no amount of special effects or camerawork can salvage a movie without strong protagonists, and Cruise, along with Emily Blunt and the rest of the J-Squad (the rag-tag army unit that Cruise is forced to join), carry the story admirably. Blunt in particular sells the hard-assed aspect of her role and you can believe that she earned her character’s moniker of Full Metal Bitch.
I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed this flick. It has just the right mixture of action, humour and pathos to pull the audience in, and actually care for the characters and their story arc.
The one letdown for me was the final act, but I’ll let you draw your own conclusions about that.
Cruise may have found a vehicle to once again reinvigorate his career, and I give Edge of Tomorrow 8.5 out of 10.