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Another flight, another in-flight movie[1]. So, just how good is Edge of Tomorrow[2] based on the Japanese light novel All You Need is Kill by Hiroshi Sakurazaka

Pretty bloody good as it happens. Even allowing for the vagaries of in-flight entertainment systems[3] this is a tightly scripted film that manages a difficult premise well. There are spoilers ahead.

The premise is that the lead character William Cage[4] resets time every time he dies. The difficulty with this sort of premise is that you need to successfully and simultaneously achieve all of the following:

  • Show the audience enough of the re-runs that they get the lead characters sense of groundhog day futility;
  • NOT show too much of the re-runs that the audience gets bored
  • Advance the plot and the main character’s development from coward to badass
  • NOT drag the story with too much exposition about rules of the world

Edge of Tomorrow actually pulls it off. There are maybe a few clumsy moments, but overall it held my attention and told a disciplined story.

This is helped by an equally disciplined performance from Tom Cruise. In one sense it reminded me of The Truman Show which proved that Jim Carrey could act with the right director sitting on top of him. I don’t know if it was the director[5] this time, but Tom Cruise was right for this role and convincing throughout.

Emily Blunt also delivered a solid performance as Rita Vrataski[6], and it’s nice to see a film avoid the Deedlit syndrome. Rita was a powerful character throughout the film, and was never reduced to a damsel in distress when convenient to William’s story.

Like Guardians of the Galaxy earlier this month, Edge of Tomorrow is now a film I’m interested in seeing a decent copy of at home, and I may pick it up soonish.

Oh, and Merry Christmas to all my readers. Please have a safe and happy day.

[1] The last one was Guardians of the Galaxy.

[2] Or whatever it’s being called today by the eternally confused marketers.

[3] Small screens, possible content edits, poor sound that noise cancelling headphones only do so much to mitigate, Qantas watermarks. The usual.

[4] Which, as romanisations go, is surprisingly close to Keiji Kiriya from the novel.

[5] Doug Liman directed Edge of Tomorrow.

[6] A name which wasn’t changed from the novel.