One thing’s for sure: if they ever make another adaptation of “Starship Troopers,” there is no way they can make excuses for not using the jump suits that Robert Heinlein wrote about in that book.
Doug Liman’s trippy new film “Edge Of Tomorrow” looks like “Groundhog Day” with a body count, and one thing I will always love about Tom Cruise is that he does not sneer at genre. He has built a career out of working with giant directors on giant mainstream films, and if he wanted, he could easily avoid ever having to deal CGI aliens or greenscreen stunts or any of that. He could do Oscar-bait drama every year forever and make the studios perfectly happy.
Cruise loves this stuff, though. He loves the physicality of this kind of storytelling, where action is as important as anything else, and he seems to genuinely enjoy world-building. If “Edge Of Tomorrow” works, it will work because we buy into the stakes and because there is a compelling sense of urgency as Cruise finds himself repeating the same day over and over, each time learning something new, putting all of these journeys together until he can find a way to defeat the alien menace that threatens the Earth.
And Emily Blunt is in it, so that’s already one ticket sold for me.
Yes, Miss Blunt is a lovely woman, but what makes me automatically see anything she does is her taste in material. She took a role like her character in “The Adjustment Bureau” and finds a million ways to elevate it beyond just being “the girl.” She makes really interesting choices onscreen, and she throws herself into her films deeply. Like Cruise, she doesn’t seem remotely afraid of working in genre fare, and I thought her performance in “Looper” was exceptional.
I wasn’t totally sold on the film’s original title, “All You Need Is Kill,” but at least it was memorable, whereas “Edge Of Tomorrow” sounds like a soap opera my grandmother would watch while folding laundry. I hope the title is the one bum note in this thing, because I love that a studio like Warner will still make original science-fiction films on this scale, and I’d love to see more of that from everyone in the business. Here’s hoping it’s a great big emotional ride. It certainly looks like that’s what they’re aiming to make.
“Edge Of Tomorrow” opens in theaters June 6, 2014.