Edge of Tomorrow was a really good summer blockbuster, and highly recommended, though I was let down by the end. Spoiler: it was really Hollywood.
This film was different from most summer films: about halfway through, I realised I was having a lot of fun. As in, Edge of Tomorrow (or Live, Die, Repeat – what’s happening there?!) was very entertaining and I was enjoying watching it. This may seem like a stupid statement, but with so many summer blockbusters I usually zone out and enjoy them in a sort of passive way. Controversial, but I didn’t enjoy Avengers Assemble nearly as much as I did EoT.
It was in the middle of the sequences where we see Tom Cruise’s Major/Private Cage die over and over again – clips where he’s both hit by and run over by trucks had me giggling more than probably seems reasonable unless you’ve seen the film. They’re so well edited and made to illicit laughs, and they’re fun. And that’s the thing, the laughs aren’t a result of puns or weak jokes (I’m looking at you Avengers), but instead it’s usually through quick editing and visual gags. It was so refreshing.
Cruise’s Cage is good, going through smarmy, scared, depressed and then true action hero as the film progresses, but for me the film’s true standout was Emily Blunt. It does help that I love Emily Blunt, but her Rita has a lot to do with making the film as fun as it is. Cage is able to be a little more goofy than he would otherwise be able to be if she wasn’t so deadpan and straight. She is also very convincing as an extremely efficient – and scary – soldier, something that more people should have seen coming given her performance in The Devil Wears Prada (a joke, but she was a bit terrifying in that film).
Commendably, the film also manages to make the stakes seem higher than they usually do in Hollywood films. By the end I actually thought (even hoped – more on that later) that each character was going to die, and that maybe, just maybe, they were not going to make it. This is of course a Hollywood film – that doesn’t happen. But it is impressive that I believed that it was just about possible. One major reason for this was the mimics, which were actually a scary enemy for once, given their time-travelling ability and crazy killing skills. Also, there is a sense of the characters’ morality, especially after Cage loses his resetting ability. For the whole film Cruise is not really able to die; after that’s gone, the film manages to feel a bit more claustrophobic and you start wondering just how good Cage really is (and Rita for that matter) – can they actually pull this off? (As an aside, I loved how they filmed the whole sequence where Cruise was underwater, especially the long shot that showed him, the Omega and the Alpha. I was able to appreciate how beautiful it was even as I was waiting for him to die.)
The ending did irritate me. For once I thought Hollywood was going to do it, let all the main characters die. Or, when they reset, I thought that the mimics wouldn’t have been defeated and they would have to get started all over again on trying to defeat them, maybe in a sequel, or, better still, maybe never to be seen on screen, leaving the fate of Earth ambiguous. Yes, these endings would have been depressing, but they would have also made a nice change to ‘everyone lives, enemy defeated’. Like the Marvel films, no one at all dies, and it’s one of the things that really irritates me about the series. The death of main characters can strike you to the core, and can leave a film truly memorable (or book – for example the Harry Potter series). This instance is not nearly as irritating as Marvel because it’s a one-off and not a series, but even still. I know it’s a Hollywood blockbuster, I know it’s not meant to be heavy entertainment, but it is essentially a war film, not Back to the Future. Imagine Star Wars without the death of Obi-Wan Kenobi; it just wouldn’t have the same emotional punch. I think that if the ending has been a bit more horrifying then I would be rushing to watch this film again. As it is, I really enjoyed it, and would recommend it, but it’s not a classic blockbuster. That’s a shame, because it has so much potential.
Featured image credit: Huffington Post
Have you seen the Edge of Tomorrow? What did you think? Let me know below!