EDGE OF TOMORROW
Review by Gordon Justesen
Cruise, Emily Blunt, Bill Paxton, Brendan Gleeson
Director: Doug Liman
Audio: DTS HD 7.1
Video: Anamorphic Widescreen 2.40:1
Studio: Warner Bros.
Features: See Review
Length: 113 Minutes
Release Date: October 7, 2014
“What do we do now?”
“I don’t know. We’ve never gotten this far.”
Very seldom are we offered a big blockbuster spectacle that is also extraordinarily witty and doesn’t insult your intelligence for once second. We were given such a cinematic rarity this year in the form of Edge of Tomorrow. Although it’s adapted from a Japanese graphic novel and does give the appearance of an odd hybrid of Aliens and Groundhog Day, this extravagant piece of rousing entertainment is one of the most original offerings Hollywood has delivered in a very long time. It also serves proof, once again, that Tom Cruise is one of the smartest movie stars when it comes to picking quality projects!
The movie also marks, in my opinion, the best work director Doug Liman has delivered since he made Swingers nearly 20 years ago. Liman has adjusted to much bigger studio projects since that indie breakout hit. In my mind, all those projects have been the building up process for this movie, which is the real deal!
The scenario is this: alien creatures known as “mimics” have landed on Earth and have taken over several notable countries, and England is their next target. Their speed and methods of attack seem incapable of defeating, but the military has developed a weapon to fight back in the form of machine suits armed with serious firepower.
Enter Major William Cage (Cruise) and military PR man who is getting the word out to the media of this very weapon. A major battle is being planned, which will showcase to the world the military’s newest level of defense. Through various circumstances, Cage is forced into fighting with the first wave of soldiers when the invasion begins.
The problem is Cage has never seen combat. An even bigger problem is that he is killed several minutes after landing on the battleground after coming face to face with deadly mimic. Then suddenly, he wakes up in the same spot he found himself when he arrived at the barracks the day before the attack.
Not knowing what to make of this, Cage finds himself in battle yet again...only to die and wake up again. This keeps happening over and over, until a chance encounter with fellow soldier Rita Vrataski (Emily Blunt). She notices something familiar, and tells him to find her when he wakes up again.
Cage’s dilemma, it turns out, is similar to something she experienced in a previous battle. It’s an ability she had but eventually lost, but now that she sees that Cage holds this same power, there may lie a key to defeating the mimics. In order to succeed, though, Cage has to die over and over again.
As great as the premise sounds, it only becomes more so when watching the movie because it has enormous fun with it right from the start. There’s also quite a bit of hilarity when watching Cruise constantly getting killed in different ways. The movie also showcases some Oscar-worthy editing in the process of having his character relive the same day, particularly in how evolves into a killing machine on the battlefield.
And talk about some truly outstanding effects work! The movie showcases a terrific mixture of both CGI and practical effects. The actors are actually wearing those machine suits (which must have been a hellish experience), which I applaud because it seems these days that big budget movies don’t seem to go for even the slightest bit of practical work. At the same time, though, the CGI used in creating the mimic creatures in some of the absolute best I have seen in any movie in quite some time, and it results in some of the best 3D of any movie this year (more on that in a bit).
Though my expectations certainly weren’t low, I was never expecting Edge of Tomorrow to end up on my list of the very best films of this year. Thanks to a witty script, dazzling action and effects, and the terrific charisma of Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt, this is very much a rousing package of cinematic entertainment that is seldom delivered! Definitely one to watch OVER and OVER.
Warner has delivered one visual presentation for the history books with this grand 3D and 2D offering. As for the 3D presentation, in spite of some slight ghosting, your eyes are in for a treat when the battle scenes kick in, as well as any and all sequences involving the presence of the mimic creatures. The depth of field in various shots is also most tremendous. The 2D presentation is also a visual knockout, and a bit on the brighter side since the 3D glasses dim it a little bit. Both presentations are superbly crisp and clear, and brought to magnificent life by way of the 1080p!
Just like with their presentation of Godzilla, Warner has created one of the absolute best sounding Blu-ray discs of this year! The 7.1 DTS mix is firing on all cylinders right from the opening frame of the movie! Dialogue delivery and music playback balance out terrifically well. But it’s during the many battle scenes where the sound quality is at its most ferociousness! When Cruise is on the battlefield, which is many, many times...you will feel as if you’re fighting alongside with him thanks to the amazing losless sound mix!
All of the extras are included on the 2D disc, and among them are a number of featurettes including “Storming the Beach”, which covers basic production ares, while “Weapons of the Future” and “Creatures Not of This World” focus more on the armor used in the movie as well as the extensive effects work that went into creating the alien creatures. Those are brief in running time, but the last featurette, titled “On the Edge with Doug Liman”, runs close to 45 minutes in length and offers a layered look at the production. Rounding out the extras are Deleted Scenes and a highlight reel of the movie titled “The Adrenaline Cut”.
Edge of Tomorrow is everything a high quality big budget blockbuster release should be. It’s dazzling, action packed, funny, suspenseful and very character driven. Tom Cruise proves once again that he is a true movie star of the highest order. And this 3D Blu-ray release from Warner offers one of the best home entertainment experiences you will have this or any year!