Comics Movie Reviews
Edge of Tomorrow
By Hervé St-Louis
June 8, 2014 - 18:01
Studios: Warner Bros., Village Roadshow Pictures, 3 Arts Entertainment, Translux, Viz Media
Writer(s): Christopher McQuarrie, Jez Butterworth, John-Henry Butterworth, Hiroshi Sakurazaka
Starring: Tom Cruise, Emily Blunt, Bill Paxton, Brendan Gleeson
Directed by: Doug Liman
Produced by: Hidemi Fukuhara, Joby Harold
Running Time: 113 minutes
Release Date: 6 June 2014
Rating: PG13 (Parents Strongly Cautioned)
Distributors: Warner Bros.
Major Cage is a public relations officer for the United States’ military. General Brigham forcibly enlists as a grunt for an upcoming attack on France. Aliens, known as Mimics have invaded Germany and the rest of Europe and threaten the rest of the world. Cage, a non-fighter tries to get out of his assignment with no luck. Within minutes of landing on the beach, he dies but realizes his entrapment in a time loop. Every time he dies, he returns back to the morning when he awoke on at Heathrow Airport. Cage meets war heroine Rita Vrataski who tells explains to him what is happening to him. They seek to find a way to use the time loop to their advantage and beat the Mimics.
I had not seen any trailer for this film. I’m glad that I did not. Everything was a surprise. I’ve seen the trailers after watching the film and although they reveal much of the plot, they don’t represent the film well. The experience I had was much better than what the trailer conveyed. I’ve been trying to avoid trailers for a while. It’s a good idea.
This movie was great although underrated. First, it’s a Tom Cruise movie. His last blockbuster science fiction film Oblivion was not good. With Cruise at the helm, I didn’t expect a great film. I was expecting an Independence Day type of film with Cruise running around saving the day. Well, he does that too but it’s smart. This film is Matrix-smart. With Doug Liman as the director, what did I expect?
One of the strength of the film is how it reuses the same scenes but ads variations to it. Thus the first time Cage rolls out on the beach, everything is new and the viewer just follows the action. But as soon as the repetitions start, the viewer becomes invested in the film. Every new sequence with new material becomes dreadful and creates suspense. Liman trains viewers to accept a false sense of safety. He uses that against them at the end of the film, by removing Cage’s ability to reboot time when he dies. Watching the last act of the film was nerve-wrecking. The suspense relies on the knowledge that any failure would doom humanity. It’s a psychological game that worked well.
Editing and good cuts were essential for this film to work. The visual effects in the film are not as important as the psychological drama. The creatures looked scary but fear of them was not what affected me as viewer the most. It’s too bad that Warner did not promote this film well enough and that it’s not a bigger success as a blockbuster. This was the first movie in years where I wasn’t annoyed by Tom Cruise being Tom Cruise. I even enjoyed his many runs!
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