Tom Cruise has a career that spans more than 30 years where he's still a box office draw worldwide. Even at age 51, he still knows how to pack a versatile punch whether it's a comedy, a sci-fi drama or a balls-to-the -wall action film. So, writer Christopher McQuarrie (Jack Reacher, The Usual Suspects) decides to put in all of the above and make it incredibly original and damn entertaining.
After an alien invasion has began as machines known as "Mimics" with the speed of a track runner laced with tentacles that has the mindset of a Terminator destroying every aspect of Europe. Cruise is Maj. Bill Cage, an Army officer who becomes the PR face of the military that sells these exoskeleton suits that's weapons have the power of a 50 cal. However Cage finds himself arrested by General Brigham (Brendan Gleeson) and busted down to Private after refusing to go into a suicide mission against the Mimics. Suddenly, something strange happens. Cage is killed in the fight, but he wakes up to when he was demoted to Private again, he deals with Master Sergeant Farell (Bill Paxton), introduced to his new team and forced into the battle with the Mimics. Then it starts again, again, and again.
Bringing an intelligent setup, this is where the film hits it's stride really having some fun with the timelines. At first, Cruise plays it as a coward who's never been in battle, then goes comically into conspiracy theorist rattling off the events to the unsuspecting people, then into badass mode ripping up Mimics one by one but then complexity sets into McQuarrie and Jez Butterworth's screenplay. Realizing that he keeps on dying that he has to find the loophole to ending this. What does Special Forces Sergeant Rita Vrataski (Emily Blunt) have to do with it? Loved this film too much to bring up any major spoilers.
Cruise delivers his best performance since Collateral where even in a summer blockbuster, he gets to flex his acting muscles where as each genre is punched into the film, he stays the course and mixes in many personas to match them terrifically one by one. His scenes with Paxton and Gleeson were absolutely humorous, when you put character actors like these two having fun with their military characters to match with Cruise. When Blunt and him are together trying to solve the mystery of his time loop. We get some good wordplay and the reminder that every time Cage sees Vrataski, that he has a short amount of time to convince her that he can help with the mission. It doesn't hurt either that they have great chemistry together and their training scenes range from funny to inspiring.
Director Doug Liman has put the finishing touches on his apology letter for Jumper with Edge of Tomorrow. With the help of James Herbert's rapid fire editing, he is able to let the actors loose with the material but grounded when needed. He would make Steven Spielberg proud of the Mimics battle that is shot like a sci-fi version of the Normandy battle in Saving Private Ryan and as the actors move, so does the camera. Mixing in crane shots, shaky cam and playing it straight in the dramatic scenes mixing in close ups and mid-shots. Kudos to Christophe Beck's epic film score that creates a excellent balance in the correct genre shifts of the film and adding to Liman's breathless action choreography.
Edge of Tomorrow has the feels and budget of a summer blockbuster but what makes it first-rate is the originality within the story, a gamed cast having a good time with their characters, Cruise showing off his A-list charisma with versatility decked in an action packed two hours that delivers on it's promise. The motto is Live. Die. Repeat but for you, it should be Watch. Pay. Repeat.