Writer: Casey ChongWriter Ratings:Overall: Cast: Plot: Effects: Cinematography: Watch this if you liked:
“Source Code” and “Starship Troopers”
When it comes to movies about time loops, the late Harold Ramis' high-concept comedy masterpiece of "Groundhog Day" quickly comes to mind. After all, it was this movie that popularised the time loop genre up to today. The most interesting part about the genre lies on the premise itself and regardless on how it is played out, it's basically more of the same: A person wakes up stuck in the same day/same event over and over again until the person finds way to correct the problem once and for all. Such concept is used in this latest sci-fi blockbuster, "Edge Of Tomorrow" as well, which sees the return of "The Bourne Identity" and "Mr. & Mrs. Smith" director Doug Liman in another big-budget studio picture.
Based on the acclaimed Japanese novel, "All You Need Is Kill" by Hiroshi Sakurazaka, the movie is set in the near future where an alien race has invaded Earth. Enter Major William Cage (Tom Cruise), an inexperienced military officer who is deployed in a seemingly suicide mission to battle against the aliens. However, he ends up getting killed and later finds himself waking up in a continuous time loop. The bizarre scenario has somewhat forced him to relive the same ill-fated battle over and over again. He subsequently teams up with Special Forces warrior Rita Vrataski (Emily Blunt), who then trains him to become a better soldier as they work together to defeat the aliens once and for all.
If you've watched any movie which involves a time loop before, the plot in "Edge Of Tomorrow" is actually nothing special. Still, Doug Liman's direction is fast paced and efficient enough to keep you entertained throughout its two hours running time, while he's particularly adept during some of the movie's genuine comedic moments. By not taking the subject matter too seriously, Liman certainly has a field day depicting the multiple fates of Tom Cruise's character as he is forced to relive the moments over and over again.
Speaking of Tom Cruise, he's the main reason that makes this otherwise typical time loop movie a worthy blockbuster to watch out for. As Major William Cage, Cruise displays his usual magnetic charisma that fans and viewers have to expect from him. But that's not all, it's refreshing to see Cruise downplaying his usual cocky hotshot role (e.g. "Top Gun", "Cocktail", "Days Of Thunder" and "A Few Good Men") for a change, and ratchets up his cowardice to both well-timed comedic and dramatic flair. No doubt this is one of his best and most entertaining performances in a long while since "Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol". Emily Blunt is equally solid as the no-nonsense Rita Vrataski where she shares an effective chemistry with Cruise. However, the rest of the supporting cast are mostly reduced to cardboard cutouts. Only Bill Paxton emerges the best in his limited but memorable performance as the barking Master Sergeant Farell.
While the movie is jammed with enough action and special effects galore, the same cannot be said with Dion Beebe's jerky camerawork. Other than the spectacular first battle against the aliens, most of the action scenes are hastily executed in an ADD (attention deficit disorder)-like cinematic approach which at times, is kind of frustrating especially if you choose to watch this in IMAX 3D. And for the record, the IMAX 3D presentation adds little to the viewing experience other than leaving you a splitting headache. Another flaw in this movie is in its final third act, which is kind of disappointing with the way Liman chooses to end the movie.
Despite some of the setbacks, "Edge Of Tomorrow" remains a reasonably enjoyable summer-movie blockbuster for both mainstream viewers and die-hard fans of Tom Cruise.Cinema Online, 23 May 2014