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[Review] ‘Edge of Tomorrow’ Has Brains, Heart and Courage!

Edge of Tomorrow

Editor’s note: spoilers follow.

The blockbuster has returned to summer. It’s only fitting that Tom Cruise helped deliver it – but not without the help of a strong performance by co-star Emily Blunt.

Edge of Tomorrow, the Doug Liman-directed adaptation of “All You Need Is Kill,” manages to be a hybrid of groundbreaking films like Groundhog Day and Matrix, utilizing a flurry of fireworks effects and strong character development to create a sci-fi masterpiece.

The story follows the weak and callow Cage (Cruise), who is the U.S. military PR specialist. He spins the war in a positive angle and gets people to join – only, he himself is a f*cking pussy. When ordered to film the war live, he refuses and is branded a traitor. He’s forced into battle – his first ever – where he and his crew are literally decimated. But before he dies he kills one of the aliens, a very special alien that has the ability to repeat time. The power is transferred into Cage’s blood, which sets him on an insane course of dying and repeating. This is where Cage meets up with Rita (Blunt), who I believe to be the Edge of Tomorrow‘s “Wizard of Oz” – she basically helps Cage get brains, a heart, find his courage and his way back home.

While I expected more fighting, Edge is more of a character piece about moral values and facing your fears, especially the fear of death. If anything, it felt like catharsis for the writers. The screenplay is really what makes Edge of Tomorrow such a cinematic gem, and writers Christopher McQuarrie, Jez Butterworth, John-Henry Butterworth and Hiroshi Sakurazaka (novel) never let the rebirth “gimmick” get in the way of storytelling. In fact, the third act completely does away with regenerative powers and leaves our heroes in the moment of truth – there is no second chance. By removing said gimmick, the film is injected with an insane amount of tension and an extreme sense of urgency.

But none of that would have mattered if you didn’t care about the main characters. Cruise’s character arc was absolutely incredible; it was like watching the birth of John McClane, Ellen Ripley or Neo. And even though Cruise is the big name, Blunt ends up being the one who carries the film on her back by delivering a tremendous performance.

Edge of Tomorrow is the return of the summer blockbuster. It really does have it all. Instead of turning in an effects bonanza that’s lacking in heart and built on fear, it has the courage and brains to deliver something fresh, smart and everlasting. Edge will have you dying for repeat viewings for the rest of eternity.



  • brewers_rule

    Interesting review. I’ve kinda assumed this movie will get lost in the summer shuffle & be considered a bust because of the confusing & complex premise, leaving it to be appreciated by the few if at all. This review definitely makes me interested so kudos for the positive promotion.

  • J Jett

    i really liked this movie. it’s not as good as OBLIVION imo but it’s very good. it seems a good number of people didn’t like the ending but it thought it was a good, satisfying ending. i really loved the change Cruise’s character goes through. he starts off really smarmy/a coward and ends up being a hero. Cruise does a great job.

    • Gotta agree. I loved Oblivion, but I think even those who really hated it will get in to this film. Surprisingly strong!


    You should pass on Edge of Tomorrow and see Fault in Our Stars. Wait for Edge on DVD coming real soon!

  • woodchuck

    I kind of want to see this, which is really odd considering Tom Cruise is in it and I’m really am not a fan of his at all

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  • Jim

    This movie could have been something really great, but falls short of the mark and ends up feeling like the sum of its parts don’t add up. One of my problems was the antagonistic forces of the aliens – they just were so blandish-generic, they merely provided something to “overcome” and a “goal” that felt derived from way too many other motion pictures.

    The aliens’ central conceit, while interesting, is never really fully developed and feels like a plot-point, albeit an interesting one at that. There’s hardly exploration into why they’re here, what they’re goal is, etc., and how they help us learn what being human really is – not that this is the story’s goal, but it’s something that great sci-fi does. Look at a film like Dark City and see how fully realized those aliens are and how Rufus Sewell’s character comes to a revelation about humanity from them as a result.

    The film has humor. It has a little heart. It has action. But so much of everything feels like it’s been stitched and stapled together from other, better movies that I was left thinking “Frankencruise”. That it’s essentially a video game disguised as a movie doesn’t play to its core audience, gamers, who are so fully immersed in front of their computers and HD Televisions CONTROLLING the action in stories of their own choosing, I can’t help but to think it’s going to be hard for them to pull themselves away and drop the controllers to go so what essentially feels like watching somebody else playing a video game without the benefits of chatting in an online forum.

    As for character development, yeah – it’s there. Quasi-like. Cruise goes through an arc, but it’s not really realistic (does anybody really know an officer in any of the corps that is THIS phobic of battle?). His growth and courage, for the most part, is born from repetitiveness and familiarization, just like playing a video game where there really isn’t any consequences – until the third act, which, albeit raises the stakes and tension, felt overtly contrived in doing so because let’s face it, without death there is no meaning or consequence.

    Entertaining? Sure, but it really misses the mark on a deeper level (at least for me) and is mostly forgettable as a result: a movie one might enjoy for two hours but quickly evaporate from memory shortly after the lights turn back on which might do it for most folks, but I can’t help to think its ambitions where a bit higher than that. As a result, it’ll perhaps scratch $30m (though I doubt it) its opening weekend, then fade with the upcoming slate of movies.

  • diapers

    With every ounce of my being, I want to dislike Cruise flicks… yet Oblivion was really quite impressive. Will definitely see this.

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