EDGE OF TOMORROW, you had me at “GROUNDHOG DAY during an alien invasion”. But the most surprising thing about you is that you come so close to the greatness of that Bill Murray classic. The film reuses the concept of a never-ending day in novel ways. Making the most of the genre leap, it results in not only some harrowing sci-fi action, but also fantastic character development.
Try as I might to dislike Tom Cruise for starring in seemingly every other action movie, he’s used extremely well in the film. It’s the first time I’ve seen a movie allow him to appear short… especially early on when he’s just a smarmy cowardly pretty boy who can’t find the safety on his battle suit. It makes his transformation by uncanny trial and error all the more powerful and believable, and makes you wonder if the greatest warriors are not necessarily the most macho, but the ones that just happened to survive the longest. Emily Blunt is also fantastic in a believably powerful performance as the “Full Metal Bitch”, and Bill Paxton is, well… Bill Paxton. And that’s great too!
EDGE OF TOMORROW’s only major flaw is its resolution, which, without going into spoiler territory, doesn’t really make sense in the context of the rules the movie has established. The most frustrating thing is that a multitude of better and more emotionally rewarding options were available, least of which would have just been taking a few extra lines for an explanation. That said, it still comes highly recommended, especially for fans of the genre, and is one of the more entertaining films so far this year!
3D Recommendation: While I feel like the film benefited overall from the format, the conversion is sometimes quite sloppy. The blend is unlikely to cause any migraines, but inconsistent character builds and some particularly offensive compositing errors (like characters’ eyes playing at the depth of their visors) make it a poor example of the art form.