Since I’ve been old enough to go to the movies by myself I’ve seen every Tom Cruise film in the cinema (with the exception of Lions for Lambs (2007) which didn’t come to Guernsey). That’s 19 films that I’ve looked at and thought ‘that looks interesting’. They haven’t all been great but they all had something, even if it was just Cruise himself who is a genuine movie star; something that I can’t quite define but, like pornography, you know it when you see it.
That star quality is used brilliantly in Edge of Tomorrow where it is once again mixed with that curious and rewarding Cruise habit of playing jerks. Here he plays a military PR guy, all Jerry Maguire grin and bluster, who refuses to film the first wave of a D-Day style assault against an alien invader and is busted to private and placed in the front line of a highly mechanized army. He inevitably dies but awakens 24 hours earlier and is forced to repeatedly relive the invasion… so we have a mash of Groundhog Day (1993), Source Code (2011) and Starship Troopers (1997).
The great news is that it’s actually a really good movie. Like the films it follows it doesn’t stop long enough for the repetition to feel repetitive in the tiresome sense and it’s exo-skeletons, guns, chases, Emily Blunt, Bill Paxton and all that jazz. On the Cruise-o-meter it’s right up there with the best of his summer movies if not quite War of the Worlds (2005).
1. Not sure how reliable this is but here’s a link to spoiler heavy blog post about the different versions of Edge of Tomorrow – http://rafjordan.blogspot.com/2014/06/all-you-need-is-kill-and-maybe-tom.html
2. Bill Paxton.