I’ve always thought Tom Cruise was underrated as an actor. He should have gotten an Oscar for Risky Business (1983). He consistently turns in a wide range of performance art.
Cruises last film, Oblivion (2013) flopped at the box office, but he’s back in a new sci-fi effort, Edge of Tomorrow, a melding of “Groundhog Day (1993) and “Saving Private Ryan” (1998) with a dash of “Aliens” (1986). Most such derived creations are sold to HBO two weeks after opening, but “Edge” is surprisingly good.
Cruise plays a reluctant soldier who, after being killed in combat, awakens the day before the battle and must relive, over and over the events leading to his death. Each path to his death is variable and he can choose paths. Cruise’s curse is to die again and again affording him a limitless capacity to learn on the job, each return to battle another chance to probe the enemy’s vulnerabilities. The premise is similar to Groundhog Day but very ingenious and creative.
The film contains plenty of obligatory computer generated graphic bang, boom and destruction, which normally assault the senses, but the characters effectively, stand out. Edge of Tomorrow with a budget of over $175 million is said to be one of the biggest box-office risks for mid-2014. I saw it in an IMAX theater yesterday Saturday for an afternoon showing and there were ten people in the theater. It might do better in foreign venues as many of Cruises films do.
Best part: Southern fried top sergeant Bill Paxton smirking: “May I help you. Sir?”
Least best part: An attempt to superimpose a love story onto Cruse and Emily Blunt’s relationship which stands out like a sore thumb during a “lets do anything possible to kill the enemy” scene.
It’s a good film, consistently interesting and novel. I give it three and a half Tom Cruise toothy grins.