Edge of Tomorrow

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Posted June 6, 2014 by in

Rating

Total Score
 
 
 
 
 

5/ 5

Quick Stats

Genre: sci-fi, action
 
Director: Doug Liman
 
MPAA Rating: PG-13
 
Actors: Tom Cruise, Emily Blunt
 
Length: 113 minutes
 
Release Date: 6/6/2014
 
Studio: Warner Bros. (presents), Village Roadshow Pictures, 3 Arts Entertainment, Translux, Viz Media
 
 
What We Thought

Edge of Tomorrow is great summer entertainment. It’s a fresh idea, its pacing is fast, and the film is just plain fun. It could be the best movie of the blockbuster season.

by Daniel Hodgson
Full Article

 

Edge of Tomorrow is the inversion of the standard action movie.  In the movies of Harrison Ford, Arnie, Stallone, etc., the hero gets into a series of life-or-death situations, but you know he’ll always escape.  In Edge of Tomorrow, Tom Cruise repeatedly finds himself in mortal peril, and dies every time—over and over and over again.
     It’s as close to a video game as a movie can get.  There’s power armor, waves upon waves of alien robots to shoot at, and even a final boss character.  What makes Edge of Tomorrow what it is, though, is that Major William Cage (Cruise) has infinite extra lives.  Dying makes him start the stage all over again.
     Cage discovers this power after dying on the front line in Operation Downfall, a supposedly sure -victory for the human race against alien invaders called “Mimics.”  The Mimics saw the attack coming, and the United Defense Force walked right into a trap.  Cage wakes up to earlier that morning, and is doomed to repeat the horrific day again and again.
     Each time, Cage learns what can happen if he takes particular actions, like memorizing the stage of a game.  This enemy is always here, that ship will always crash over there, etc.  Even so, danger can come from any place at any time if Cage tries something new, and a hidden threat can take him by surprise.  But it’s ok, he can always try again.
     I’ll let the movie explain how this is possible.  It makes a kind of sense, but more importantly, it allows the hero to constantly be in danger, and each scenario ends plausibly.  Roll under a truck too early, get squashed.  Stand in the wrong place at the wrong time, die.  Eventually, he’ll fight a battle automatically, because he’s gone through it a dozen times before.
     The movie, however, judiciously avoids unnecessary repetition, showing only enough to get us oriented in Cage’s current objective.  It’s smart editing, and creates a fast pace.
     Emily Blunt plays Rita, a decorated soldier whom Cage meets on the battlefield.  The star of Salmon Fishing in the Yemen is not someone one would expect to play a bad-ass, but the thesp has bulked up for the role to match her character’s steel demeanor.  She’s great in the role, and could see more work in actioners after this.  Never the damsel-in-distress, it’s Rita who must turn media specialist and talking head Cage into a front-line soldier.
     I enjoyed Edge of Tomorrow, and I’d see it again.  I screened the film in IMAX 3D, but recommend a 2D screening.  Director Doug Liman helmed the first Bourne Identity film, although his newest actioner looks closer to Paul Greengrass’s Bourne Supremacy or Bourne Ultimatum.  It’s up-close, urgent, and tense.  That said, there’s nothing 3D about it.  Save yourself the surcharge.
     Edge of Tomorrow is great summer entertainment.  It’s a fresh idea, its pacing is fast, and the film is just plain fun.  It doesn’t take itself seriously in the slightest, and several of Cruise’s deaths get a good laugh.  It could be the best movie of the blockbuster season.  We’ll see.

About the Author

Daniel Hodgson

Daniel has a degree in film from the University of Texas at Austin, and writes about himself in the third-person, because that's the fashion.

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