Edge of Tomorrow (Doug Liman, 2014)
While I’m sure many will stay away from this movie purely because it stars the likes of Tom Cruise, you should know that you get to see him die over and over again. Cage (Cruise) gets stuck in a time loop while combatting an alien invasion, with the day resetting each time that he dies. Edge of Tomorrow could have easily been annoyingly repetitive in this respect, but succeeded in keeping the audience engaged and entertained throughout.
Obvious comparisons can be made with Groundhog Day (Harold Ramis, 1993) regarding the protagonist re-living the same day, however Edge of Tomorrow is firmly rooted in the science fiction genre. Reliving the day never once seems monotonous for Cage, but rather an opportunity to improve upon the current situation. While there is a romantic element, Cage’s aim is first and foremost to save the human race, adding far greater excitement to proceedings. The film got off to a somewhat shaky start – I was worried that I may have unwittingly walked into a weird Scientology propaganda film – but it soon established the right pace. Surprisingly enough, the film generated plenty of laughs, and not just because Tom Cruise is a bit of a dick. It was actually pretty funny in parts and these moments served well to break the ongoing tension.
Edge of Tomorrow was relatively easy to understand for a science-fiction film, which is saying a lot coming from me. (Having said that, I did need some clarification on a few aspects after viewing.) There weren’t long, ridiculous explanations of confusing concepts, nor all-too-brief ones. I concede that it may have been easier to follow because we see the same thing over and over again, but I would argue that it was more likely due to effective film-making and plot development. Despite the constant loop, we do not have to sit through the same explanations over and over, and a large number of days are skipped over completely. In fact, I am extremely intrigued as to how many times Cage relived the day, and I wish we could have been given an answer to that. Was it less than a year? Or several years? Or HUNDREDS of years? We will never know.
*WARNING: While the following paragraph does not involve plot spoilers per se, it may heavily influence your expectations going in to the film. Read at your own peril:
This film was very enjoyable to watch, but partly because I felt that we were leading up to some amazing final twist. I spent the most part of the film excited about this and was very disappointed when it ended. The ending wasn’t BAD, but I just expected so much more. My boyfriend said “Well you come up with a better ending”. WELL, I’M NOT A SCI-FI WRITER! I don’t know what a better ending would be, but I’m sure one exists. I wanted to feel shell-shocked. I wanted to go “OH. MY. GOD!” Instead, Edge of Tomorrow suffered a bit from Lost (the television show) syndrome – exciting and engaging all the way through with the promise of a mind-bending conclusion. And then… “Oh. Is that all? WHAT THE HELL?!” Such an investment for so little return. I was tempted to consider the entire film as ruined for this very reason, but I suppose if you’ve enjoyed it up to the last few minutes then it can’t be a total write-off… Can it?
Yes, Tom Cruise is a tool in real life, but he does make the occasional decent movie, and you forget what a dick he is once you get into the film. Plus if Emily Blunt is in it, then it definitely can’t be too bad. She’s obviously WAY too good for Tom, but I’ll allow it. The romantic aspect isn’t too heavy-going so we don’t have to be too rigorously faced with that perplexing question of how Tom gets so many awesome women. But getting to relive the day over and over again probably makes it easier for him to lure them into his weird-arse Scientology-infested lair. RUN FOR YOUR LIFE, EMILY!