I wouldn’t have thought that Edge of Tomorrow would have turned out nearly as fun as it was from looking at the ads alone, but I saw it in theaters anyway particularly because I happen to like Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt, in spite of their runs of misses throughout their careers. In an age where action blockbusters have grown to become rather repetitive, Edge of Tomorrow shines from the many coming out during the summer, for it managed to provide the fun which I was awaiting amidst a sea of mediocrity. Watching Edge of Tomorrow did indeed prove an assumption from the advertising to be wrong, and revisiting it now after not having seen it since theaters proved it still held up rather well as one of the better blockbusters from recent years.
Adapted from Hiroshi Sakurazaka’s light novel All You Need is Kill, what Edge of Tomorrow provides is the high-concept fun that is particularly absent from the sea of mediocrity arising whether it range from a sequel or a newly anticipated superhero movie. Edge of Tomorrow provides a clean break for it manages to stand out by providing the endless wit and excitement that a typical blockbuster should be capable of providing. While there are many elements that strike familiarity (among some of the first films that would come to mind can range from Groundhog Day to Starship Troopers to Aliens), Edge of Tomorrow understands what made these blockbusters great for what they were, and brings audiences back to said times.
The selling point of Edge of Tomorrow comes from the idea that Tom Cruise’s character of Major Bill Cage is constantly getting killed, but each time when he dies, he is stuck within a time loop that resets the day, and thus he wakes up after death unharmed. Edge of Tomorrow uses this formula to its own advantage through its oftentimes humorous mannerisms of killing off Cruise. What was rather nice about seeing a sense of humor coming was the fact that like some of the most notable blockbuster classics, director Doug Liman is never taking itself extremely seriously, much like the writers who helped in providing all the wit that has been left on the screen for us. Seeing as many blockbusters take themselves extremely seriously, it was nice to finally see that another one would come out that would not sink down to a factor like this.
Tom Cruise plays against his usual heroic type in here which also added up for something more refreshing. He and Emily Blunt are perfectly cast amongst one another, knowing that the two of them are creating a perfect blend from how they are going against roles which they had been familiarized with. Cruise’s image alone would normally set off a tone that he is set to play a strong hero, but it’s the image that is turned on its head thanks to how it is written and how it has been performed. Emily Blunt plays seductively in a manner that strikes back to Sigourney Weaver’s Ellen Ripley in Aliens, always bringing such a determination to her character which in turn made the battlefield sequences as fun to watch as they are. The look alone from how perfectly they manage to become the roles in which they are playing ends up adding more to what formed such a wonderful chemistry together with each other.
For a film that manages to provide such slick action all through its battle sequences together with the wit that made such films entertaining in the first place, it’s not a film without its flaws. Although the formula can appear rather repetitive, there’s a particular issue to which I have in regards to time travel films in general, and it comes from how they end up leaving rather gaping plot holes behind. It’s especially prevalent in the final moments of the film, but for the sake of the spoiler sensitive, I will not be revealing the issue right on the spot. Given the nature of the way it ends, it feels as if it was rather rushed and thus, an anticlimax is created that ultimately lessens the impact.
What was nice about seeing Edge of Tomorrow in theaters for myself was the sheer fact it felt as if there was a film that truly understood what made the classic blockbusters as great as they are. Even if Edge of Tomorrow does not live up to the standards which they set for specific elements feel rather contrived and the formula leaves gaping plot holes towards the end, it’s the sort of blockbuster which I wish I could find more of in this day and age. Originality may not be its strongest area, but on a count of its wit and the joy within the action sequences, Edge of Tomorrow is still getting enough right in order to provide high entertainment value from beginning to end.
Watch the trailer right here.
All images via Warner Bros.
Directed by Doug Liman
Screenplay by Christopher McQuarrie, Jez Butterworth, John-Henry Butterworth, from the light novel All You Need is Kill by Hiroshi Sakurazaka
Produced by Erwin Stoff, Tom Lassally, Jeffrey Silver, Gregory Jacobs, Jason Hoffs
Starring Tom Cruise, Emily Blunt, Bill Paxton, Brendan Gleeson
Release Year: 2014
Running Time: 113 minutes