Edge of Tomorrow (2014) Movie Review

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Edge of Tomorrow (2014) Movie Banner Poster

It might be premature to call director Doug Liman’s “Edge of Tomorrow” the best film of the summer. But, up to this point, this is the most fun I’ve had at the movies since “Captain America: The Winter Soldier,” and I thoroughly enjoyed the likes of “Godzilla,” “Neighbors,” and “Chef.” If nothing else, the alien invasion actioner is easy to go into with no baggage, because this is one of the few big blockbuster style sci-fi movies of the summer that isn’t part of a franchise, some kind of reboot, or focused on pre-existing superheroes. Though this is an adaptation, most of the general movie going public isn’t super familiar with Hiroshi Sakurazaka’s novel “All You Need is Kill” or the subsequent graphic novel. The fact that we’re talking about something different is refreshing, and when you consider that this also manages to be smart at the same time it kicks ass, all the better.

In the near future a hostile alien race called Mimics invade Earth. Five years in, this battle has become a truly global effort. The war isn’t going well, however, but the United Defense Force has one last big piece of military action planned. Major Bill Cage (Tom Cruise) is a public relations officer who has never seen a day of combat in his entire career, but when a vindictive general (Brendan Gleeson) Shanghaies him him to the front, things get even worse. Within moments of landing on the beach, in the middle of a Normandy-eque invasion, Cage gets killed. Surprise, surprise, he wakes up the morning before the invasion. Caught in a time loop, he lives the same day over and over again. When he encounters Rita Vrataski (Emily Blunt), the literal poster child of the military campaign, she knows what he is going through because the same thing happened to her. As the days repeat, she trains him and together they attempt to figure out how to save the day for the human race.

Tom Cruise in Edge of Tomorrow (2014) Movie Image

No matter how you feel about him, as a human being or an actor, Cruise is a perfect fit in this role. Cage is not a heroic figure, especially at the beginning. A former advertising executive, he’s the kind of smarmy asshole who has always been able to talk himself out of any sticky situation he’s ever found himself in, but this is one time words won’t do him any good. Completely inept, you feel for him as he gets railroaded, stuck into a bulky, heavily-armed exoskeleton that he’s never used before—he can’t even turn off the safety—and thrown into the grinder. He’s frantic and scared out of his mind, and with good reason.

After he wakes up, he’s even more out of sorts. Now he knows exactly what he’s in for, and goes through the various mental stages as he tries to cope. He denies it, runs away, tries to warn people, and everything else that you can possible imagine, but nothing helps, and he meets the same end every single time. One of the best sequences of the entire movie can only be described as a montage of Tom Cruise dying, and he dies a lot. Let’s see, he gets shot, crushed, blown up, shot some more, ripped apart by aliens, and run over by his own troops, among others. When he trains with Rita, it’s not much better. Every time he gets injured, tired out, or their time is simply up, she just shoots him in the head in order to reset the day. That’s a true friend right there.

Emily Blunt in Edge of Tomorrow (2014) Movie Image

Liman is most known as an action director, with the first “Bourne” movie under his belt, and “Edge of Tomorrow” doesn’t disappoint in that regard, as the high-octane stuff is fantastic. Cage’s first foray into open combat plays like a futuristic update of that first scene from “Saving Private Ryan.” It isn’t quite as long or overwhelming, but the camera captures the chaos and the character’s frayed, frantic mental state. But in addition to this side of things, he and Cruise have a solid handle on the character elements, too. Though it easily could, the story never devolves into cliché romance between Cage and Rita, but you still see how much watching Rita die day after day after day—as well as everyone kicking the bucket around him on the beach—weighs on Cage.

Christopher McQuarrie’s (“The Usual Suspects”) script isn’t without flaws, but overall it is clever, fun, and never takes the easy way out. The Mimics are essentially an intergalactic virus that functions as a hive mind, and he links that to the repeating time. At times there’s even a caper feel. For a movie about repetition, “Edge of Tomorrow” is rarely repetitive. There are a couple instances where the wash, rinse, and repeat structure does start to wear out its welcome, but surprisingly few, and largely the way the story unfolds is smooth and satisfying. One particular scene near the end is the most glaring issue, sidetracking the pace for a few minutes, but these are minor problems and don’t dampen your enthusiasm and the excitement.

Tom Cruise in Edge of Tomorrow (2014) Movie Image

It’s too bad “Edge of Tomorrow” is tracking to be another flop for Cruise, because it’s a great summer movie. This is exactly the raucous, fun adventure that you want out of a big blockbuster release. From start to finish, you’re on board. There’s a good hook, tons of action, the combination of practical and computer special effects look fantastic on screen. “Edge of Tomorrow” is exactly as awesome and fun as you want this movie to be. Do yourself a favor and get to the theater to watch it.

Doug Liman (director)/Christopher McQuarrie (writer)/Hiroshi Sakurazaka (novel)
CAST: Tom Cruise…Major Bill Cage
Emily Blunt…Rita Vrataski
Bill Paxton…Master Sergeant Farrell
Brendan Gleeson…General Brigham


Buy Edge of Tomorrow on DVD

Author: Brent McKnight

Brent McKnight lives in Seattle with his dogs. He likes beards, movies where things explode, and overcast skies. His three favorite movies are "Rubin and Ed", "A Bittersweet Life", and "Out for Justice". He wishes his knees didn't hurt. On Twitter @BrentMMcKnight
  • http://chitiktikchiti3a.blogspot.com/ ChiTikTik ChiTiaa

    I didn’t watch this movie yet but they are talking about a huge work here… I wish it would be a great success to tome Cruise… sorry but what it is the rating over 5.
    http://chitiktikchiti3a.blogspot.com/

  • TotesMagotes

    I’m sick of all these Tom Cruise sci-fi blockbusters. They all look the same to me. Oblivion was pretty bad so I think I’ll pass on this.

    • Brent McKnight

      Oblivion sucked ass, it looked pretty, but it was super boring. This one is actually a total blast.

      • http://www.beyondhollywood.com/ Nix

        Ha! I liked Oblivion. But Edge of Tomorrow is definitely better. It’s probably the purest example of a movie driven by a high-concept idea. I even liked all the changes they made from the book.

        • http://www.beyondhollywood.com/ Dedpool

          I still haven’t seen Oblivion yet, but something about it looked a little meh. THIS on the other hand looks like high-octane fun! And I agree it’s good to see a high-concept that doesn’t let it fall by the wayside like a lot of Sci-fi flicks do. The last time I was surprised like that was Looper.

          • TRD

            I’ve seen oblivion and I gotta say I enjoyed it. Looper was awesome! Can’t wait till tonight for Edge of Tomorrow. A little off topic but one of the best movie I’ve seen this year so far is The Raid 2! So glad I was able to see that on the big screen.

          • Brent McKnight

            The Raid 2 is soooooo good. Holy crap.

          • http://www.beyondhollywood.com/ Dedpool

            SOOOO GOOOD INDEED!!! I was so happy I got to see that on the big screen too! Holy crap what a visceral experience!!

  • TRD

    I just read your first and last paragraph as to not spoil any details just incase. I’ve been excited about this movie since I heard about it earlier this year. Now even more so. I love stuff like this such as, Ground Hog Day and the short lived tv show Day Break with Taye Diggs.

    I’m going to see this tomorrow night.

    • http://www.beyondhollywood.com/ Dedpool

      You should see Triangle! It’s pretty good.

      • TRD

        Thanks for the suggestion. I will definitely check it out.

        • Malikye

          Here’s the trailer for Triangle:
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9aCdzjCftgs&feature=kp
          DO NOT READ THE YouTube COMMENTS!!!

          Also, check out, TimeCrimes – It’s available on Amazon Prime Instant videos. please don’t watch the trailer – It spoils the movie. Whoever made that trailer should be fired!!!

          • http://www.beyondhollywood.com/ Nix

            I reviewed this thing ages ago (it seems). But yes, don’t read the comments.

            http://www.beyondhollywood.com/triangle-2009-movie-review/

          • TRD

            Thanks for the suggestions. I will check those out sometime this weekend in between fishing.

          • http://www.beyondhollywood.com/ Dedpool

            Time crimes was awesome!

      • TRD

        So I watched Triangle and finished it about 30mins ago. I love it. I spent the last 30mins thinking about the movie and what actually happened. Such an awesome flick. Absolutely love it. Not your typical movie thats all wrapped up neatly at the end. It makes you think like a mofo haha. I will have to read up about it to understand it more. Wow.

        • http://www.beyondhollywood.com/ Dedpool

          NICE!!! Glad you liked it. The general consensus is that she dies, and is basically in a sort of Limbo (or Hell even) reliving that moment again and again. First she tries to forget what happened entirely (her “going on the trip”) but eventually she’d brought right back, and the realization makes her want to change it but therein lies the rub, she can’t. Like the figure in the story early in the film, pushing the boulder up the hill, but it constantly falling back down. I really enjoyed that flick.

          Here’s another The Abandoned (2006) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Abandoned_(2006_film)

  • Pinakin

    Watched this today..and I must say I am impressed…too bad we as humans naturally compare movies with previous efforts…specially if hey r in same genre and back to back..I almost did not go due to Oblivion…but I am glad I watched it in 3d on a big screen..It’s clever…and it’s one of the few movies where in the middle of all the action and special effects and the blockbuster elements, the actors actually decide to put in their acting efforts and don’t just go through the motions…EMily Blunt and Tom Cruise both have a good chemistry as well as screen presence too…overall it’s a very good movie…I will be disappointed if it turns out a flop..

  • ErickKwon

    I was wondering how the changes from the book would affect the movie, especially since the trailers showed so many scenes not in the book. However, aside the from the Westernizing, the changes manage to logically flesh out a story that by its nature was confined and limited. A tad disappointed that they couldn’t find a way to fit in the comments about free green tea and wish Bill Paxton could’ve had a Pvt Hudson callback freak out scene (I can’t be the only one who was thinking of “Aliens” when he was in barky sergeant mode). I think it should also be noted that the still photos and posters made the “jackets”/powersuits look cumbersome but aside from one or scenes, they look and work great onscreen. And counting this, “Godzilla”, “X-Men: DOFP”, and “Captain America 2″ this has been an incredibly good early summer movie season for genre flicks

  • dave

    edge of tomorrow is awesome. cruise’s best movie in ages.