Edge of Tomorrow Review: Groundhog Day With More Bullets and Aliens

Photo Credit:http://www.mediastinger.com/edge-of-tomorrow-2014-extra-animations-during-after-the-credits/

Edge of Tomorrow is probably the best video game movie ever made.

Although not based off of any specific title, it takes place in the future, humans are fighting aliens for some reason, and it doesn’t really matter when you die because you just get to start over. There are probably several dozen video games coming out in 2014 that have the same description. The difference? None of them have Edge of Tomorrow‘s surprising sense of humor or the benefit of being grounded by one of the best action stars of our time.

Tom Cruise plays William Cage, a major in the military that gets demoted to frontline grunt in a matter of seconds. He is part of a massive human force storming the enemy on a beach in France. Yes, it plays like a futuristic Normandy invasion. Yes, it’s awesome.

But when Cage gets killed in battle, he just wakes up a day earlier and gets to relive the battle over and over again. Watching him have to relive his day and continually try to get it perfect lends the film a funny bone and a unique take on futuristic warfare.

However, Edge of Tomorrow also serves as a reminder that no one really does action like Tom Cruise anymore. In most of the action scenes in the film, Cruise gives Cage a look of sheer panic as he shoots down aliens and tries to win the war. He doesn’t ever give the stoic stare of say Daniel Craig or Hugh Jackman. Those two are talented in a myriad of ways but Cruise manages to make his action scenes way more exciting by instilling real fear in his eyes. It’s proof that an action star doesn’t have to give up being awesome to give the action a little more humanity. The actor also makes the most out of the film’s time travel gimmick.

That said, once the gimmick is taken away at the start of an overlong third act, Edge of Tomorrow loses a lot of its, uh, edge. Oddly enough, once the stakes are risen, the film becomes a generic sci-fi action romp. The sense of humor suddenly disappears. The action is suddenly much less inventive.

It’s a shame that the climax takes up so much of the movie. Had the gimmick gone through until the last possible minute, having that gimmick taken away would have been much more powerful.

Still though, those first two acts are really fun. Honestly, if you are in need of a well-rounded, consistent Tom Cruise sci-fi movie, revisit Minority Report. If you’ve over-watched that, Edge of Tomorrow will keep you invested for most of its runtime. Grade: B

By Matt Dougherty

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