I’ll Review Anything: Edge of Tomorrow

Edge of Tomorrow didn’t do as well as a lot of people expected. Even if the movie does have the biggest star of the planet in it (Tom Cruise), it still didn’t really do much business against the other big blockbusters. The film opened at the 3rd spot, losing to The Fault in Our Stars and Maleficent with a box office take in the United States of $28.8 million. It is faring much better overseas, grossing more than double in the foreign market. People blamed the lack of publicity the film got in the United States for its lackluster performance.

Honestly, even with the lack of promotion, I’m amazed it didn’t do more business during its opening week, considering how good the trailer looked.

After watching Edge of Tomorrow, I hope that more people will watch it because it’s a pretty awesome movie.

Before I go into specific, I do have to warn that I will be mentioning some MINOR SPOILERS for the film. It should okay since this film has been out for a couple of weeks already. But I just like to cover all my bases.

Edge of Tomorrow stars Tom Cruise as William Cage, a Major of the United Defense Forces (UDF)who specializes in creating propaganda commercials to help in the recruitment of soldiers. It is the near future and aliens known as Mimics have invaded the Earth. After a successful counterattack known as The Battle of Verdun, the UDF marshals all of their forces in one big surprise attack to get rid of the alien threat in Europe.

Cage is forced into the war (who never expected to participate in any combat when he enlisted being a PR guy). However, the Mimics are expecting the surprise attack and easily rout the UDF forces. During the battle, Cage kills off a Mimic that looks different from the other aliens before he dies. Because of this twist of fate, each time he dies, he “resets” the events of the two days before the battle.

The story reminds me a lot of Groundhog Day, a film that was released way back in 1993. While it may seem Edge of Tomorrow was inspired by that film, it actually wasn’t. The movie is based on a Japanese novel entitled All You Need Is Kill (wonky title but I’ll let it slide). I actually read a summarized version of the novel way back when and parts of the manga adaption so I do have a passing familiarity with the story.

Sounds like a Beatles song.

Sounds like a Beatles song.

The movie definitely changes a good chunk of the story and the overall effect is a mixed bag. I like the decision to make Cage a sniveling coward instead of a green recruit like in All You Need Is Kill and making the powered exoskeletons seem more useful. But there are a lot of other changes that didn’t mesh well, such as the reason as to why Emily Blunt’s character, Rita Vrataski, loses the ability to reset the day. As a whole, the story is still great.

One of the things I enjoyed was the first third of the film, watching how Cruise would die each day. Some of them are pretty silly and are laugh out loud funny… in a morbid way, of course. But each time he dies, Cruise does get better and remembers what would happen so he can avoid dying and live on just a little bit longer. In one particular scene, the instant he lands on the beach, he gets run over by a truck! The next day, he manages to pass the truck. It’s these nice touches that shows that he is indeed reliving the same events over and over again.

I actually liked the dick-ish Tom Cruise when he doesn’t want to join the war and he tries to weasel his way out of fighting. It’s such a big departure from the cocksure characters he usually plays in his action flicks. But, after a few days (deaths) of training and memorizing the patterns of the aliens, he starts to get really good and become an effective fighter. I knew this was going to happen (it wouldn’t be much of a film if the hero didn’t want to fight) but once this gets going, I started to lose interest with him. It was nice to see “Major” Cage mature and understand he needs to be a hero because of his ability but it made him the Tom Cruise hero in Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol, Jack Reacher and Oblivion.

Gotta hand it to him, though. The dude doesn't age!

Gotta hand it to him, though. The dude doesn’t age!

Emily Blunt as Rita Vrataski, AKA The Angel of Verdun AKA The Full Metal Bitch, is fun when you see her as a hard-boiled vet who used to have Cage’s ability to relive the day. She’s so determined to end the way and I like her single-mindedness in her mission. Bill Paxton cartoony Master Sergeant Farell may be a caricature but he’s a totally enjoyable caricature to watch. He reminded me of J. K. Simmons portrayal of J. Johan Jameson in the original Spider-man films: decidedly over-the-top but is done with such fervor and commitment, he steals every scenes he’s in.

The entire J Company, the platoon Cage is assigned to, seem to be a colorful bunch of characters but we never really see them so it’s kind of hard to determine if I should even care for them. Then again, it would a waste of valuable “let’s go see how Cage can die” scenes if they did have more screen time so I guess it’s a fair trade off.

I do have to comment on the overall look of the film. It’s great when they try to make the world futuristic looking. The UDF equips all of their soldiers with high-tech exoskeletons and use sleek looking jets to send in their troops. But when they start dropping in present day looking houses, bars, cars, buildings and undeveloped country roads, it looks all wrong all of a sudden. It’s like they shouldn’t have all that fantastic technology because of the “normal” looking objects they use in their everyday life. One of them is out of place but I just can’t figure out which one.

Rural Europe hates new technology in the world of Edge of Tomorrow.

Rural Europe hates new technology in the world of Edge of Tomorrow.

While the first third of the film is great, it’s the last third of the film sours the entire movie a bit. This is the part that diverges the most from the original source material. I do understand why Hollywood decided to go another way (All You Need Is Kill is a bit of downer) but it’s too generic and goes against the originality of the story.

Still, I would say Edge of Tomorrow is one of the better movies I’ve watched this year. It’s easily better than that other time travelling involving mutants that was shown a few weeks ago. It’s no Back To The Future but, as time travelling movies go, this is a definite must watch.

Have you watched Edge of Tomorrow? What did you think of it? In fact, what’s your favorite movie involving time travel? Whatever your thoughts, leave them in the comment section below!

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