Edge of Tomorrow (Doug Liman, 2014)

Confidently transcending the barriers erected by obvious influences, Edge of Tomorrow‘s pulse-pounding merits outshine convoluted hindrances. As a high-ranking military PR specialist, William Cage’s (Tom Cruise) skill set involves fast talking and subsequent manipulation of the masses. Soon enough, Cage is unwittingly thrust into the thick of mankind’s battle against an omniscient alien race, if only to mysteriously begin reliving the same day upon his inevitable death. From here, an unattainable future finds hope in the elite Rita (Emily Blunt) – a battle-hardened dynamo and sharer of Cage’s affliction that remains the yin to his yang in the search for victory.

Narrative derivation aside, Edge of Tomorrow finds solace in a general uniqueness of presentation. As he predictably evolves in a manner reminiscent of a bloodsoaked Phil Connors, Cage’s acquired devotion to the dire task at hand carries with it an inherent sense of engagement. From excellently orchestrated action set pieces to serviceable time travel logistics, the film steadfastly hits its stride without needless digression.

Despite the script’s latter act “Because time travel!” spiel dealing with inevitable conflict resolution, everything leading up to it sits high in the annals of prime blockbuster entertainment. While jabs at conceptual intelligence fall flat here and there, the aforementioned details surrounding Cage’s affliction are fresh enough to set the proceedings apart from typical big-budgeted fare. You’ll undoubtedly roll your eyes at thin if appropriate stabs at humanism, of which predictably revolve around Cage’s near infinite collaboration with Rita, yet it all becomes forgivable given his victim of circumstance persona and effective wry wit.

Although not the pinnacle of excellence, Edge of Tomorrow capitalizes on obvious merits via Liman’s apt handling of the material and characteristically charismatic turns from Cruise and Blunt. It noticeably thrives via appropriate grimness, situation-specific gusto and well-realized scale and scope – it’s just a shame that it ends with a whimper that betrays its bulk’s bang. As far as high(er)-concept sci-fi actioners go, material as aptly engaging as this are far from a dime a dozen.

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