DVD REVIEW: EDGE OF TOMORROW / CERT: 12A / DIRECTOR: DOUG LIMAN / SCREENPLAY: CHRISTOPHER MCQUARRIE, JEZ BUTTERWORTH, JOHN-HENRY BUTTERWORTH / STARRING: TOM CRUISE, EMILY BLUNT, BRENDAN GLEESON, BILL PAXTON, TONY WAY / RELEASE DATE: OCTOBER 13TH
Hollywood’s current approach to sci-fi is to add a novel element into the plot. It is not enough to have a simple space opera or futuristic war; the whole thing has to revolve around some clever and mind-bending twist. Edge of Tomorrow’s gimmick is that the main character is doomed to repeat the same day again and again. Unlike Groundhog Day however, the day the protagonist is doomed to repeat is the day that mankind loses to a powerful alien invasion force.
The plot is anything but simple. Earth is at war with an implacable alien menace known as the Mimic. Tom Cruise plays the photogenic Major Cage, a PR man who has spent his military career avoiding active service by being the smiling face of military recruitment. When Cage’s luck and charm run out, he finds himself on the front. His first encounter causes him to become cursed with an ever-repeating day, and he swiftly works out that his only path to victory is to ally with Emily Blunt’s character, a woman he had previously been hyping to the media as ‘The Angel of Verdun’.
The result is a high-octane alien invasion action movie in which you get to see Tom Cruise die many, many times. For some, this is worth the price of the DVD alone. The movie looks appropriately gritty and at points has a very First Person Shooter video game feel. This effect is only heightened by the fact that Cruise has seemingly infinite replays. The aliens are very well done, being mostly a mass of tentacles mixed with molten lava. This contrasts with the soldiers' power-suits very nicely indeed, allowing for really eye-popping special effects whilst still maintaining some suspension of disbelief.
The DVD release only contains limited extras for some reason. Weapons of The Future and Creatures Not of this World are fairly standard insights into the movie-making process and don’t really add to the experience. Additional extras have been added to the Blu-ray, presumably to encourage you to start using that format.
Edge of Tomorrow would have been a solid and interesting sci-fi movie without it’s time-warping premise. With it, it becomes something much deeper and more entertaining. Though the movie wastes a lot of its potential in favour of clever action sequences, this does seem to be a worthwhile trade-off. If you ever wondered what the love child of Aliens and Groundhog Day would look like, then this could well be your answer.