Release Date: 30th May 2014
Running Time: 109 minutes
Director: Doug Liman
Genre: Action, Sci-fi
Starring: Tom Cruise, Emily Blunt, Bill Paxton, Brendon Gleeson
“The coward dies a thousand deaths, the brave but one.” Ernest Hemingway (Farewell to Arms)
As the Catholic News Service Review puts it, “it’s hard to imagine that anyone has ever undergone the multiple demises due the lily-livered quite so literally”.
‘Edge of Tomorrow’ is an unusually intelligent and emotionally satisfying war film with a sci-fi twist. Although the central premise of the film is that the earth has been invaded by an alien species, ‘Mimics’, it has very much the feel of a World War Two film and the main action centres around a D day type battle on the beaches of Normandy.
Major Nicholas Cage (Tom Cruise) is the face of the army’s recruitment campaign – and, disappointingly, a coward. Despite his best efforts, he finds himself on the Normandy beach and rapidly meets his end… only to awake at the beginning of the day he has just lived, and have to live it again. And again. And again. Hence the film’s tagline, ‘Live. Die. Repeat’. However, the film deftly and humorously avoids the potential boredom of watching such a time loop.
The film’s emotional satisfaction comes as much from watching Cage grow from coward to true hero, as it does from his relationship with Rita Vrataski (Emily Blunt), a formidable female soldier who has been tempered in the same fire – or time loop – that Cage now suffers. The film isn’t perfect, especially the ending, which one definitely feels could have been made clearer with a little extra effort on the filmmakers’ part (though it does makes sense if you think about it long and hard enough). It is, however, an extremely satisfying ride, and not without its challenging moments. “Why does it matter what happens to me?” demands Rita at one point, with a selflessness that certainly left this viewer feeling overawed.
In a nice touch, it is the song that accompanies the closing credits that supplies the final line – keep your ears open!
Look out for the film under the name: ‘Live Die Repeat: Edge of Tomorrow’, available to rent or buy now.
I published the above review in the Advent edition of my parish magazine .
Overall: I have a copy on my DVD shelf. Thumbs up.
Sex/Violence/Profanity: No sex scenes. Threat and moderate violence. Infrequent strong language.
Have you seen this film? What did you think?