Edge of Tomorrow ★★★½

Director: Doug Liman
Screenwriters: Christopher McQuarrie, Jez Butterworth & John-Henry Butterworth
Based on All You Need is Kill, a “light novel” by Hiroshi Sakurazaka
Cast: Tom Cruise, Emily Blunt, Bill Paxton, Brendan Gleeson, Jonas Armstrong, Charlotte Riley, Tony Way & Franz Drameh
Runtime: 113 min // Certificate: 12a

It’s still a very solid action blockbuster, but those final twenty minutes or so are even more jarring the second time around. It’s obviously a testament to the strength of what comes before them that the scenes in Paris don’t kill the film entirely, but it does feel like they’ve been lifted from another, less intelligent film because no-one quite knew how to give this story the satisfactory ending that it needed.

Nonetheless, Edge of Tomorrow remains one of 2014’s surprise hits, and I cannot praise its tongue-in-cheek humour or the dry, self-aware performance of Mr Cruise enough. It’s obviously easy to criticise old Tom for being smug, self-satisfied and more than a little bonkers on the whole “cult” malarkey, but he can still turn in a great performance when he wants to, and the role of Major William Cage in this film really couldn’t have been pulled off by anyone else.

As for the rest; Blunt continues to impress, the visuals are top-notch (even though the creature design is a little bit lacking) and Liman’s chaotic but focussed direction really does stand out amidst the wreckage of generic blockbusters that have plagued cinemas this year. It’s a shame that it runs out of steam quite as drastically as it does in that final act, but the rest of the film is so ingenious, amusing and thrilling that this is ultimately just a minor criticism.

Click here for my previous review of this film (June 11, 2014)

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