When I saw the trailer for this film, I knew this was going to be really good or really bad. There would be no in between for a movie like this. It’s time-travel incorporated plot was either going to intrigue and awe or stutter and fall on its face.
Prior to watching, I was leaning towards the latter. The trailer made it appear like Cruise could replay the day over and over until he won, which would make the risk of death mute, hereby eliminating any premeditation, fear, or stress that you would find in a normal action flick. If you can reset time whenever you want, then there’s no point in worrying about the protagonist dying. He might as well be Superman.
However, what Edge of Tomorrow appears to be and what it actually is are two completely different things. At first glance, this is senseless material. It holds such a loose grip on reality that if you look at it with your own eyes it’s hard to see any association whatsoever. Edge of Tomorrow isn’t trying to give you an illusion of something it’s not trying to be. It’s being straightforward, an approach that leaves you confused and scatterbrained as you try to complete a figurative puzzle that doesn’t seem to have all the pieces.
In the beginning of the trailer, Cruise says word for word, “What I am about to tell you sounds crazy.” He’s not lying to you. It’s in the script, that’s what he’s supposed to say, but it’s like a direct message from the writers to you: “Hey, this is going to spin you for a loop.” There’s also another line that Cruise delivers later that goes something like this. “At first, it’s going to sound crazy, but the more I talk, the more rational it’s going to become.” You know what? He’s right again.
If you give this movie 15 minutes or even a half hour to tell its story, it’s going to flop like a fish. It’s got no chance, but if you stick with it and take the information it gives you and think about it a little, it does make sense, although not completely so.
I don’t want to mistake you. This isn’t one of those movies where it throws exposition at you that makes zero sense and you just kinda have to accept it to have a good time or else you’ll hate it. Maybe you have to do a tiny bit of that, but it will be explained by the end of the running time.
If you give this movie the benefit of the doubt for a little and try to enjoy it, soon you won’t be trying to enjoy it. You’ll just be enjoying it.
It’s a science fiction film so if you brought all that you know about life with you, you probably should have left some of that at the door. Some science fiction films have a stranglehold on reality so that even the most crucial critic can’t find any chinks in the armor. This isn’t one of those films. If you want to find something wrong with this film, you will. I hold no reservations about that. It’s not the most tangible plot, but neither was Star Wars or Star Trek or Transformers. They all have things you can pick at if you want to, but that doesn’t take away from the great experiences you have watching them.
This is like Groundhog Day but an action movie. Major Bill Cage, played by Cruise, is reliving the same day over and over and over. He, along with the help of war hero Sergeant Rita Vrataski (Emily Blunt), must save the world from annihilation by aliens.
For once, the aliens were a pleasing feature and I mean that in the sense of I can’t recall seeing anything like them before. It doesn’t feel like they looked through a list of monster movies and chose one to copy off of. This crew went to the sketchbook and put some thought into them and I appreciate that. The armor suits are a little like the ones from Elysium, but little is where the comparison stops. The action scenes are very well done and a blast to watch. I also love action movies with humor and Edge of Tomorrow had that, too. A touching romance was a fine sight to see as well.
What would this film be without Emily Blunt and Tom Cruise though? Aside from Charlie Wilson’s War, which I don’t remember all that well, I haven’t seen Blunt in anything but it was a true pleasure watching her work. While I didn’t get as much of her as I would have liked, her time in front of the camera was always stimulating and provocative. I hope to see her again sometime.
Then there’s Cruise. I mentioned this in my Jack Reacher review and I’m sure I’ll mention it when I write a post about my favorite actors, but Cruise is just…well, he’s the man. What can I say? The guy gets the job done to an overwhelmingly high standard time and time again. Even if the product as a whole isn’t all that delightful, Cruise always seems to give me my money’s worth at the bare minimum. Looking through his filmography, there isn’t any movie I see aside from maybe Top Gun that I loathed with a burning passion. Sure, the ones I’ve seen haven’t always been great but I still managed to have a good time with them thanks to Cruise and it was more of the same here.
Once again, if you’re new to my blog, I’ve always ranked movies on a scale of 0-100 (I don’t know why, I just always have). Here’s the grading scale.
80-89 It was a pretty good movie and definitely one worth seeing, but it doesn’t quite scratch my top ten percentile. (The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Young Guns, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2, Spider-Man 3, Divergent)
50-59 This movie isn’t intolerable but it’s not blowing my mind either. I’m trying really hard to get some sort of enjoyment out of this. (The Starving Games, You’re Next, Thor, Full Metal Jacket, Alien Resurrection)
40-49 This movie is just mediocre. It’s not doing anything other than the bare minimal, so morbidly boring that sometimes I’m actually angry I watched this. (Billy Madison, A Haunted House, 300: Rise of an Empire, Cowboys and Aliens, Serendipity)
30-39 Definitely worse than mediocre, the 30′s ironically define the 1930′s, full of depression, lack of accomplishments, poverty and just so dumb. (Stonados, Redemption, Pride and Prejudice, The Contract)
0-19 Watching this movie resulted in one or more of the following: seizure, loss of brain cells, falling asleep/unconsciousness, feel you wasted your time/day, accomplished nothing for you, left the movie knowing less about it then you did going into it, constantly asking yourself why you came to see this movie, or near-death experience. In short, staring at a wall was just as entertaining as watching this movie. This movie deserved a sticker or a label that said, “WARNING: EXTREME AMOUNT OF SUCKAGE.” (Open Grave, Alien 3, Dark Fury, Midnight Cowboy)
My score for Edge of Tomorrow: 88.
Bolstered by a Cruise-portrayed character and a far-fetched but entertaining plot, Edge of Tomorrow makes last year’s Cruise feature, Oblivion, look much worse than it actually was. This film simply had all the things I like in my action flicks: a substantial plot, action rush, and humor topped with romance. The only thing hampering this film down to the 80’s is that the time travel, while handled far better than most movies, was still a little head-scratching at times. Overall, one of the better sci-fi films of the last decade.