Edge of Tomorrow

poster_edgeoftomorrow

This review contains both good news and bad news. The bad news is I don’t really have anything original to say about this movie and the good news is I liked it. Yes, they blew the ending, but for the most part the gimmick they ripped off from Groundhog Day works and the two stars do a good job.

Edge of Tomorrow‘s premise may be similar to that of Groundhog Day‘s, but at least they have the good sense to make basically everything else completely different. In a post-apocalyptic future, Major William Cage (Tom Cruise) looses his cushy PR job by refusing a general’s order, and gets thrown right into the front lines in a war against an alien race known as mimics. He dies in battle, only to wake up again before the invasion has even begun. This gives him a lot of chances to get it right, and with the help of super soldier Rita Vrataski (Emily Blunt), he just might be able to.

emilyblunttraining_edgeoftomorrow

I’ve heard this film compared to a video game more than once, and before seeing the film I would have thought this was a detraction. On the contrary, it was the film’s most interesting aspect. When you have a story about events that repeat themselves over and over again, you’re bound to run the risk of the audience getting bored. Here however, any repetition that occurs (while understandably frustrating) serves as suspense, prolonging the time before we advance to new material. Towards the end, the repeated gags are almost all removed and the story hurtles forward at a breakneck pace. It keeps you on toes, especially in the middle to end section when you can hardly ever be sure how many times Cage has done this.

While it would be very hard to explain the ending’s failure without spoilers, I’ll try my best. Now, it doesn’t seem like a huge problem when you step back and think about it, but watching in the theater it definitely feels very off. This is because in both tone and pacing it’s just too abrupt of a change. It feels Liman and crew didn’t know really how to end it, but knew they had to end happily, so they just fabricated a confusing loophole out of the plot and tacked on a happy ending. The movie’s going along and going along, and all of a sudden it just stops, they give you an obligatory happy ending, and then the movie’s over and you walk out of the theater feeling cheated. True, this type of ending is seen often in Hollywood, but it’s always unfortunate when it’s burdening a movie that’s otherwise really good.

battle_edgeoftomorrow

The first thought I had (and I’m sure I’m not alone) when I saw the trailer for this film was something like “that looks pretty cool, but then again, so did Oblivion.” I will say that Cruise has chosen a better project in Edge of Tomorrow. The role is not too demanding but Cruise does a great job with it. He manages to show his character’s growth and be a likable enough hero in the meantime. Emily Blunt plays one of the most badass characters you’ll see on a movie screen in ┬áthe foreseeable future, and does it well. She has a very commanding presence in the film. The decision to forge a (however muted) romance between the two is unfortunate. It’s not as if the two don’t have chemistry, they do, but it’s not romantic. They work very well as a mutual-respect war buddy-comrade type thing, and the romance just feels forced. It’s not unbearable or anything and there’s not much of it, but still.

Edge of Tomorrow may have made a couple of missteps with the ending and the romance, but all in all it’s still a good film. The premise is cool, and the film managed to distinguish itself from others, at least while you’re watching it. It got me over the theater to see it, and I was happy I did. That’s about the highest recommendation I can give it.

ohnoshesdyyyinggg_edgeoftomorrow“I don’t know, we’ve never made it this far before!”

Long story short: 3/4 stars

For Further Reading:

Keith and the Movies review
The Playlist double review

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8 responses to “Edge of Tomorrow

  1. It’s a gimmick movie, but it’s a fun one that knows what it is and doesn’t make any excuses for being just that. Good review.

    • Yep; that basically sums up this movie. There were a few things wrong with it, but in the end ended up being pretty good. Thanks!

  2. I will also try not to say to much straight out…
    I think it’s less a romance than simply the fact that he gets to know her ridiculously well (depending upon her and getting to know her essentially every day for a year or more, depending on how many loops the movie gives him) while she always meets him for the first time. Given the way they rewrote his character in particular for the movie, there is probably nobody in the world that he knows better than her, but he’s a total stranger to her. It doesn’t have to be romantic for him to have a degree of love for her. (think Sam and frodo if you will; Sam obviously loves frodo, but it doesn’t mean a romance).
    As for the ending, I didn’t mind it, although it seemed odd to me that they gave him the reset. Given that the movie rewrote the mimic power to be actual time manipulation, it seems to imply failure rather than success…

    • Hmmm I see what you’re saying. From my point of view it seemed like Hollywood forcing a romance, but I could be wrong. It’s easy to automatically assume that, even if it might not be true. I have no knowledge of the source material at all; that’s just how it felt to me. That being said; I did feel an amount of sympathy for him.
      Yeah, besides being very sudden the ending was also confusing.

    • I wasn’t going to see it until the good reviews started piling up. By the time I saw the movie it was about what I expected, but back when I saw the trailer I thought the film was going to be horrible. The film had a few problems but all in all was really good.

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