113 Min. | Action – Sci-Fi | May 2014
IMDB Rating: 8.0
Director: Doug Liman
Staring: Tom Cruise, Emily Blunt, Bill Paxton
Edge of Tomorrow Review: Edge of Tomorrow will be the most surprising blockbuster of this year for doing its job so well that beats every expectation about what it has to offer. This is that rare thing, a blockbuster that does more than just deafen with noise of its machinery. More on that in a bit. It’s set in the near future, about warring alien invaders, but the template is from the past, a WWII movie about landing to France and the final battle that blows back towards freedom, a simple choice that made a difference in immersion from Star Trek stuff. Setting it in the future allows for wider room in the story. They chose time travel, normally cumbersome when it mechanically props a story, but here fresh because it’s about loosening up limits of it. This way we escape the war movie trapping where we know that the hero must dodge every bullet and survive to the end, here he dies again and again, some funny deaths in place of heroics, seriousness goes, expectation goes, it all becomes more fluid.
In Edge of Tomorrow, Tom Cruise is marvelously casted, just brilliant use of him that helps so much usher us in. He’s cleverly made to be at first the preening jerk that he grates everyone as, cowardly trying to avoid battle, instead of right off the bat the noble action hero he would normally portray. He’s laughed off, fails, fate as cosmic joke, and in this way slowly emerges redeemed in the great crucible of war so that when he becomes the hero it feels earned and right. The first is the draw-in, the other two ways of throwing the crank we’d like to, Cruise not a hero, thwarted heroics. Okay, now forget about aliens, gadgets, a war to save Earth. The point behind it of course is the usual, redemption, but consider this with more depth. A man who would not assume his place in life, cast down there anyway but now stripped of his precious self, no longer above others. Interested viewers can observe the karmic underpinning of being reborn an endless number of lives, the successive round as Buddhist samsara, a cycle of delusion. That aspect of Buddhism which observes how present and future life is dictated by past action is the easiest to illustrate, so we see it often, Groundhog Day is the most known.
In Edge of Tomorrow, the more he pushes against the narrative, the harder it becomes, but just going along doesn’t help either, he gets killed every time. No he will have to improvise a new self in the flow, this is sparked by a woman he meets and tells him to find her when he wakes up again. It all builds up to a last mission of course, one last chance to get it right except this time they can both die. The filmmaker delivers the expected climax, doing it well. But also delivers something else. She kisses him for the first time, having known him for only a day, trusting it is more. He watches her go away, having spent with her an eternity. She greets him, now her superior, with the same defiant tone as ever. Will he stay or go? Is it a first day in this affair, last, is it even one? It’s all in Cruise’s baffled laugh, both the first day and last. Marvelous, but something you’ll deepen with love as deep as you’ve known or can imagine, the pieces perfectly arranged for you to. Something to meditate upon. Overall, Edge of Tomorrow is an excellent movie, watch it.