Edge of Tomorrow (2014) – A Movie Review

Edge of Tomorrow logo. Picture by Warner Bros. CC BY-SA 3.0 1)


The Mimics, a race of hostile conquering aliens, have destroyed a big chunk of Earth and installed themselves in the middle of Europe. As the battles increase, humanity is getting closer to get our planet back. Major William Cage, portrayed by Tom Cruise (Born on the Fourth of July, Eyes Wide Shut), is a coward officer in this post-apocalyptic world, who works as a PR liaison to the United Defense Forces. When he is given the order to personally travel along with the soldiers during the final battle, in order to record the moment of victory, he feels panic and tries to blackmail the General in London, trying thus in his mind to avoid going into the front lines. He is arrested of course, and thrown into the battle without any formal training. As a cruel joke of destiny, he kills by mistake an Alpha, a rare alien that carries some kind of special chemical in his body. That substance makes it able to go back in time a whole day, deflecting thus the possibility of death. However, this kind of alien blood infected Cage, taking the time-travel power away of the creature, giving Cage the ability to revive every single time he is killed.

What would you do, if the fate of humankind rested in your hands? And if you had the power to reset your day and live everything all over again, would you do something different? That's the premise of Edge of Tomorrow (2014), a somewhat provocative film that unfortunately doesn't go much further than that.

Living at the Edge of the Groundhog Day

Emily Blunt (The Devil Wears Prada, Arthur Newman) as Rita Vrataski aka “the Full Metal Bitch”, is a fearsome sergeant that is seen by the world as a hero, due to her brave actions in the battlefield, her continuous victories without any apparent “special” aid, but a mighty exoskeleton armor, and of course thanks to the PR team. She is a symbol of hope, going by the moniker of “The Angel of Verdun”. Although she is admired by the world, she is really just a bittered woman, who has seen too much war. When Vrataski and Cruise meet, they keep living the same day over and over again trying to save the world from the Mimics. Blunt as a good actress as she is, injects energy and dynamism, as the same time that she imprints humanism to a rather unidimensional character. Her job most of the time is to look pretty in front of the camera, and that is a shame, because she is a really talented performer.

Other known actors sharing credits with Cruise and Blunt are Bill Paxton (Apollo 13, Titanic) as sergeant Farrell, and Brendan Gleeson (Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, In Bruges) as General Brigham. Both are good actors with long careers that now perform plain and slightly dull military roles.

Although this is technically a science-fiction movie with militaristic traits, the story uses the basic argument of the romantic-comedy Groundhog Day (1993) with Bill Murray. Nevertheless, Edge of Tomorrow isn't as brilliant as the Murray's box-office hit. The problem with the movie isn't the flat acting that makes the characters a little bit shallow. You can see the main character growing throughout the movie from a wimpy jerk to a super heroic leader. I don't have issues either with the alleged science used in the film, with lots of fantasy elements to justify the technology and biology behind the aliens. That makes the movie entertaining, and doesn't bother the viewer with weird stuff distracting our mind of the plot, which is very interesting, no matter what repetitive it becomes on screen. However, the problem lies in Tom Cruise himself.

Emily Blunt at San Diego Comic Con 2013. Picture by Gage Skidmore CC BY-SA 3.0 2)

Tom Cruise, Superstar

A movie should entertain, and this one does it without any problem. But the obsession to make Tom the uber protagonist of all his movies is kind of disheartening. The movie tries to say something important about life, and how we live it, but it keeps centering in the cult of the personality, drawing our attention away of the movie's core message. Every actor in a Tom Cruise movie plays simply a supporting role, and nobody will steal any screen time from him. That's a pity, because his movies could reach new levels of excellence, and left behind that somber shadow of Superstar. Other actors did it successfully, like Leonardo DiCaprio, Matthew McConaughey, and Jodie Foster. They transcended stardom and became great actors doing their best to reinvent themselves on screen, and getting very good at it. However, Tom Cruise looks like the same guy, and even he behaves similar too in all his roles, making you wonder if you are not seeing in fact a Top Gun (1986) remake.

According to Businessweek.com the film “…with a reported price tag of $175 million, took in just $29 million in its debut weekend”. The article questions even if he is still a relevant movie star, because “Edge’s $10.7 million opening day was worse than the $13.3 million drawn by Cruise’s last sci-fi flick, Oblivion, which wasn’t particularly well-liked by critics and grossed only $89 million in the U.S”. 3) This only means that if Cruise still wants to stay afloat in this business, he must change and adapt or die trying, metaphorically speaking, of course.

In Conclusion

The movie have decent special effects. The script is interesting, but every time it approaches to a decisive moment, it stops, just to become a regular action movie, throwing the baby out with the bathwater. But still it is entertaining, and if you feel like spending a nice afternoon watching a movie and eating popcorn with friends, this one works perfectly. However, if you dislike or feel repulsion to Tom Cruise, seriously you are not going to like this movie, there is simply no way that it can happen. In that case, just move forward, and watch another film, because this movie is tailored to Tom Cruise from head to toe, but hey, it isn't that bad. The acting is not good really, but it is bearable. So, if you don't have any quarrel with Mr. Cruise, just go and see it. If I could enjoy it, maybe you could too. Just give it a try.



Warner Bros. (May 27th 2014). Edge of Tomorrow logo. (Uploaded by Sierratangoxray) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/deed.en)], undefined. Picture Available On-line in http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/0/02/Edge_of_Tomorrow_Logo.jpg
Skidmore, Gage (July 20th 2013). Emily Blunt at the 2013 San Diego Comic Con International in San Diego, California. (Uploaded by Gage) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/deed.en)], undefined. Picture Available On-line in http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/8/8f/Emily_Blunt_by_Gage_Skidmore.jpg
Ebiri, Bilge. (June 13 2014). Is Tom Cruise Still a Movie Star? Businessweek.com. Available On-line in http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2014-06-13/after-edge-of-tomorrow-is-tom-cruise-still-a-movie-star

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