EDGE OF TOMORROW (2014): Live, Die, Repeat, Then Think Again.

Edge of Tomorrow

Seriously, I had no idea about what EDGE OF TOMORROW is all about and if it’s worth watching or not. Then I did some googling and found that, well, it’s perhaps one of the good summer movies to watch (like, Variety writes “...Edge of Tomorrow [...] is not an action movie first and foremost, but rather a cheeky little puzzle picture in expensive-looking blockbuster drag.” to which I replied, “Okay.”).

See, I’m not a summer-blockbuster kinda movie guy. I’m a picky movie lover, too picky to even have my own movie-review blog (lol). So if finally I decided to watch EDGE OF TOMORROW, it’d better be a good one! Here we have Tom Cruise (again?) playing Major William Cage, a representative of the United Defense Force. The world’s under attack of some alien creatures called Mimic (and you’ll see how monster-ish creatures in movies lately are getting fuzzier in shape and size), and United Defense Force is the frontline military basis to handle the situation.

Although he’s in a so-called Defense Force, Cage isn’t really a soldier. That’s why when General Brigham (Brendan Gleeson, who fits the role by nature) orders him to join next offshore battle, Cage refuses. He tries to escape, but then he’s arrested. All he knows is he wakes up in a military training station with Master Sergeant Farell (Bill Paxton) as his commanding officer and no more ‘Major’ in Cage’s title. He’s now a Private.

Edge of Tomorrow

What happens next is not a strange thing you’ll find in similar war/alien-invasion movies. You’ll get these military puns and jokes and all, but not until we’re introduced with the heroine Special Forces warrior Rita Vrataski (Emily Blunt, who musts be too British to play such a Russian-named character—no offense) that we realize something is not particular in EDGE OF TOMORROW. Cage hasn’t been in a war before so he knows nothing about operating his super-big army suits and weapons. He dies instantly, as soon as he lands his feets on the war field.

But then he wakes up. He’s not dead; he’s just repeating the day before he joins the military training.

I mean, you have watched GROUNDHOG DAY right? (Remember, that comedy starring Bill Murray and Andie MacDowell? Ah you should watch it!) Funny that this repeating-the-same-day topic has been used in a film made eleven years ago. GROUNDHOG DAY was too classic? Umm, try SOURCE CODE, starring Jake Gyllenhaal, although it’s a bit far to be an exact comparison (but it has similar way of thinking). I believe many previous movies have done this topic before.

My point is, I presumed my surprise back when I was sitting in cinema was explainable. When the epic battle Cage had for the very first time happened and he died, his sudden wake up at exactly same place and time confuses us viewers (including me). The crowds were like, “F*ck, he’s just dreaming... so the war hasn’t begun yet, it’s just his dream”. But then Cruise invites us by his confused expression to realize he wasn’t dreaming; he already had the experience before.

Edge of Tomorrow

And for that, I was stunned. GROUNDHOG DAY was the first thing that came across my mind, and that’s the reason I was wowed. I’ll give it a try, I’ll see if it works in this big-budgeted scifi-action movie.

Everything was okay. We continuously got wowed, especially when they tried to skip the repeat (giving the feel of Cage predicting the future). But after Rita Vrataski yelled at Cage, “Meet me when you wake up!”, everything doesn’t flow as smoothly as it does before.

When you’re suggesting a brand new idea, I think it’d better for you to describe it very clearly before applying it as a ground for suggesting next ideas. And in the case of movie, director has to have the ability to make the description faster but not any more confusing. I have problem with EDGE OF TOMORROW, especially when Rita was faced and giving opinion about Cage’s ‘time-travel’ ability. I’m trying to find a solution to my problem all the way forward as the movie keeps accelerating, but then things are going... different. Things are going inconsistent, ineffective. And the more they made it confusing (by that ending!), the more I feel troubled (plot holes, to be exact) with this movie.

The good thing about EDGE OF TOMORROW, besides its effort to merge time-play with boom-boom war action scenes, is its effort to make it less... America. (Again, no offense). It takes place in Britain, France, Germany; Rita Vrataski, like I said—you can guess where she came from. It’s just great to see a blockbuster that mostly labeled with the star-spangled-banner country suddenly goes a bit global.

It’s not a concern, anyway. LOL.

Edge of Tomorrow

So, if you’re expecting a summer movie with brain in it, you should see EDGE OF TOMORROW. Well it’s been a challenge for filmmakers to reinvent action-scifi movies; they are trying to insert both new and recycled ideas to these genres. But, beware! Too much of a thinking sometimes hurts your brain, and when it happens, you’ll regret why bother giving too much of a thinking anyway.

Edge of Tomorrow

3 out of 5 stars

2014 / Action, Sci-Fi / 113 min / rated PG

cast: Tom Cruise, Emily Blunt,
Brendan Gleeson, Bill Paxton

written by Christopher McQuarrie,
Jez Butterworth, & John-Henry Butterworth,
based on the novel "All You Need is Kill"
by Hiroshi Sakurazaka

directed by Doug Liman

Akbar Saputra

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  1. Your blog is nice! I'm not sure if I'll get around to seeing The Edge of Tomorrow. It looks interesting enough, but I'm not crazy about Tom Cruise. Still, great review!

    1. Thank you so much! Well it's a nice movie to see this summer, although I didn't find it that spectacular. Your blog's great, too! :D