Tom Cruise has been both, a ‘movie star’ and an excellent actor for ages. With performances like the one in Magnolia and with blockbusters like the Mission Impossible franchise, he has proven this. Similarly, Doug Liman has been an excellent film maker for ages. After having made amazing films like The Bourne Identity and Mr. and Mrs. Smith, he has proven that he knows what he is doing.
Sadly, however, both Cruise and Liman have been struggling for the past few years. They have made good films alright, but these films haven’t been as good as they used to be - and believe me, the films used to be very good. With Edge of Tomorrow, though, both the actor and director in question have made a comeback. In a somewhat similar sense to its central theme, the film has allowed Tom Cruise and Doug Liman to restart their careers (with a great push).
The film’s plot-line is rather complicated: Tom Cruise plays Major William Cage, who is the kind of man who sends any number of people to war until he doesn’t have to fight the war himself - one day, however, under some rather unfortunate circumstances, Cage wakes up to find out that he now himself has to fight the war he desperately ran from. As one might expect, chaos ensues - but not in the way you might think. You see, while (actually after) fighting the war, Cage finds out that he can now restart his day whenever he dies. Cage must now befriend Rita Vrastaski aka Full Metal Bitch aka Angel of Verdun (Emily Blunt), a total badass woman who teaches Cage how to use this power and become someone who can fight the war and kick some alien ass, until of course, the Earth is safe.
Albeit complicated, it seems like an interesting concept, right? Well, it is. This, after all, is like a combination of Groundhog Day and a film such as Oblivion (another Cruise film). But that’s not what makes this film so good - instead it’s Cruise, it’s Liman’s direction and it’s the surprisingly well written script of this film.
Let me explain.
Firstly, after having seen Tom Cruise play a fearless, calm and nonchalant character time after time in film after film, seeing him in this film is delightful. He plays such an afraid, scared and powerless man that it’s hard not to be baffled with just how good Tom Cruise is as an actor. The way he pulls of being this wimp is exceptional and marvellous and rather entertaining.
If that’s not enough, Liman knows how to use Cruise. He gives us the scared and worried Cruise who is discovering the sadness and hopelessness of death again and again and who is trying to escape the war in any and every way possible, but then he also gives us the Cruise we have all come to love over the years: you know, the one with that ever-so-charming big smile and the one with an undeniably likeable arrogance.
To add to that, with the film’s script, Liman is also able to keep the audience entertained and interested at every possible single moment of the film. The script, after all, uses the Groundhog Day concept (living the same day again and again; can I call it that?) to create action, humour and a sense of confusion.
You see, as the film progresses, it creates a video-game like theme in which our hero has to die again and again until he learns how to finish every challenge faced, so that he can fight and destroy the final boss at the end of the game. This allows Cage to become as strategic, brave and powerful as possible until he finishes all his challenges and fights and destroys this final boss.
By adding humour and confusion to this ingenious action, Doug Liman pretty much makes the film great.
Other than that, even Emily Blunt, who, as mentioned before, plays Rita Vrataski (aka Full Metal Bitch aka Angel of Verdun) is pretty good in her role. Vrataski is Cage’s trainer and romantic interest in the film - not much if we think about it. However, Blunt is able to add a sense of mystery and depth into this character that you have to like her and you have to want her to have as much screen time as possible. (Plus, there’s that part where this character is nick-named Full Metal Bitch).
Together, all these elements add up and mix so well that disliking Edge of Tomorrow becomes almost impossible, if not fully impossible. In fact, they all layer up and blend so well that they make Edge of Tomorrow, at least in my eyes, one of the best (if not the best) films of summer 2014.
I have heard that the film isn’t doing a very good business and that’s a pity - not because I liked the film so much, but because it is a really good film which has the potential to make loads of people like it. Honestly, do yourselves a favour and go watch Edge of Tomorrow. It’s a great film.