Good time travel films and stories are few and far between. Most fall prey to any number of logic holes or cliches. When a good one comes along, like Looper for instance, it gets noticed. Edge of Tomorrow is definitely worth noticing on that level. It has a tight grip on its parameters (enough so), a sense of dark humor that only time travel can insight, and a solid cast delivering the material. My only real gripes with the script were the events that lead to Cruise’s (Oblivion) character being put into battle and the ending.
On the first point, it was unforgivable military cliche and just not realistic. All of the dialogue and action could have remained, but his assignment and predicament needed to be less personal. As to the ending that Limon (Bourne Identity) stuck with as director, well, we can debate whether it was the right ending or not. I’m betting there were many debates on which way to go. It wasn’t unfair, it was just not as brave as it could have been.
McQuarrie’s (The Tourist, Jack Reacher) script is generally quite good on its plot mechanics, but the life of the piece is really thanks to the acting talent. Though, as I mentioned, he really took a cheap way out at the top to get the ball rolling.
Blunt (Salmon Fishing in the Yemen, Your Sister’s Sister) plays a great kick-ass soldier with depths hinted at but shown wonderfully only as a fan dance, making her all the more intriguing. Cruise’s character, as well, is fleshed out more by his acting than what is in the dialogue. Perhaps that is unfair and McQuarrie did see the subtleties that the actors brought in, but as Gleeson’s (The Company You Keep) General is fairly flat with similar levels of dialogue, I’m laying the success to the actors and director on this point. That Limon had worked with Cruise and Blunt in the past probably helped this all along.
The story is a great ride and IMAX 3D definitely added to the fun. Even knowing the conceit going in, which slams the first 20 minutes of the movie, it still was intriguing and full of tension. I won’t go into a tirade over marketing campaigns, I promise.
I know the film isn’t getting a lot of love out there from the general public, but it should. And, it needs to be noticed that seeing it on the weekend celebrating the 70th anniversary of D-Day adds a certain frisson to the whole event. It may also explain why it is doing better in Europe than it is in the US. The Normandy invasion is much more alive there still than it is on this side of the pond. My vote, see it on a big screen. It is entertaining and quite a good couple of hours.