Friday, 30 May 2014

Edge of Tomorrow (2014)

Another 'alien attack on Earth' film which decides to mix 'Groundhog Day' into itself. There are things to appreciate in the film but, in the end, it cannot sustain its concept or runtime as it devolves into more of the same stuff you may have seen before while also lacking the necessary character development or chemistry.

Tom Cruise plays Cage, a PR guy in the army who ends up being put on the front line. The front line being the beaches of northern France as humanity seeks to reclaim mainland Europe from alien invaders labelled as 'mimics'. The assault on the aliens fails miserably. Except that Cage finds he has started the day over again after he was killed. And this keep on happening. Eventually, he gets the help of Emily Blunt's Rita, a war hero who happened to have experienced the same thing in the past. Together they work out what needs to be done to stop the aliens.

The trouble with this film is that, despite it trying not be, it ends up being the usual alien-invasion action film with Tom Cruise as the heroic lead (though he does start out as the guy who tries to talk his way out of being put on the front line). The action was serviceable, just not that thrilling or different to other films. It could have had more impact had the characters had more impact, but they give you little reason to care. Cruise's character isn't the most interesting or sympathetic while he and Emily Blunt (who was in 'Looper' and part of the reason that had an emotional impact) don't appear to have any bond between them, which is sort of understandable as Blunt's character repeatedly keeps meeting Cruise's character for the first time (she resets, basically, while Cruise doesn't). But at least they get some time, unlike the supporting cast who, towards the end, suddenly force themselves into the plot and I think the film expects us to care for them. They seemed more dispensable than a goon in a 1980s action film.

The film did have some entertainment (the manner in which Cruise gets run-over in the barracks is amusing), and it mostly kept me occupied. It would have been nice, however, if the film actually had more to it or was presented in a way to make it feel like there was more (there could have been something in there that wasn't allowed out). Or even if it took itself less seriously (supposedly it mixes humour in, but it didn't seem that way). Instead, it struggles to sustain what it has to begin with making it less and less interesting as it goes on.

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