Review: Edge of Tomorrow (2014)

I’m finally rounding out the list of 2014 movies I missed, I swear it! So here’s what I promise will be a quick review of Edge of Tomorrow, a science fiction war film starring Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt.

When I first saw the trailer for this last spring I thought, “Oh, that looks cool.” One Saving Private Ryan style beach battle, one alien invasion, two great actors…this can’t be that bad. Well, as it turns out, I kind of hated it.

*GENERAL SPOILERS TO FOLLOW*

The idea of a day repeating itself over and over again is intriguing. What would you change? What would you do differently? Can you stop the destruction to come? These are the questions put forth in the trailer, the ones which caught my attention and inspired me to rent this DVD in the first place. However when you actually see the same day played out in a two-hour long action movie you start to get a tiny bit bored. (Which is how I imagine Tom Cruise’s character would have felt if he weren’t busy trying to save the world and everything.)

Imagine knowing what every character’s going to say before they say it and imagine knowing what’s going to happen next before you see it. For lack of a better explanation, this movie felt like the 10th time playing Carly Rae Jepson’s “Call Me Maybe.” You know it well enough to predict it, you can even repeat most of the lines, but you’re also totally sick of it.

Sure, ok, Cruise’s character got a little closer to destroying the Omega every time. And alright, the film didn’t exactly start at point zero every time he died and hit reset. But it still kind of felt that way.

I did like the unique qualities of the alien species, however. They were, as the movie said, the perfect conquerors. If you can always see the enemy coming, if you can control time and reset your days whenever you want, how can you lose? Not to mention the thousands of deadly spider/scorpion-like foot soldiers you have at your command…humans don’t stand a chance, right? Sort of.

Apparently the aliens’ one weakness was that by killing a slightly higher level foot solider called a Mimic (get it?) you co-opt the Omega’s time resetting power. (Note: the Omega is the brains of the whole operation because these aliens have a hive-mind.) Why that is exactly, I still have no idea, but cinematically that was Cruise’s contribution to the storyline; he got lucky and shot one, then pulled in Emily Blunt to train him, kill him when necessary, and die as a martyred love-interest during the final confrontation with the Omega.

What I didn’t realize going into this movie, is that it’s actually based on a book called All You Need is Kill by Hiroshi Sakurazaka. Perhaps, had I had a chance to read it prior to seeing the movie, some of the aliens’ tactics and logic would have made more sense. Specifically, what did they invade for? This is never discussed in the film. I would also like to know more about Emily Blunt’s experience as the day-repeater; it’s mostly just referred to vaguely as “me at Verdun” or “me before Verdun” and not explained.

Overall, I wouldn’t really recommend this movie unless you’re just interested in watching things blow up repeatedly. Enjoy!

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