Movie Review: Edge of Tomorrow (2014 - Tom Cruise, Emily Blunt)

Tom Cruise as William Cage in Edge of Tomorow movie still

Edge of Tomorrow is one of the must-watch "summer movies" of the year


Tom Cruise is back with yet another sci-fi action flick but this time it's all compliments from me. He plays Major William Cage, the US army's public relations officer, is forced into the battlefield after assuring to the world that the high tech exoskeleton suits could help the army to win the war against the alien invasion, which has been going on for years and they haven't had any success in beating them until the emergence of Rita Vrataski, played by Emily Blunt, who's the most skilled soldier in the army. Cage dies within minutes in battle but wakes up back at where he started at the barrack. He soon discovers that he has the ability to "reset" the day every time he dies and by teaming up with Vrataski, who once had this same ability (which explains her skills), they take advantage of this power to learn how to prevent the inevitable onslaught trap on that day and to defeat the aliens once and for all.



Since I haven't seen Groundhog Day (1993), a film which every critic seemed to have referenced, nor have I read All You Need is Kill, the Japanese novel that Edge of Tomorrow is based on, I would say, to me, that this sci-fi action flick is like Starship Trooper (1997) meets Source Code (2011) with a bit of Pacific Rim (2013) elements (the alien hive-mind thingy). When you mash 'em all up together, you'd get an interesting plot along with a lot of action, but crappy dialogues, lots of plot holes and a disappointing typically convenient Hollywood ending (thankfully not as horrible as Oblivion's) - but who cares when you the film is this satisfyingly fun to watch. Not sure if anyone would notice but I think the writers of the film might have made Cage a PR officer to inject a bit of war and media satire into the story. In the novel, the protagonist, named Keiji (I guess that's how Japanese would pronounce Cage too ha-ha), is just a new recruit and not a PR officer of the army.

Tom Cruise as William Cage and Emily Blunt as Rita Vrataski in Edge of Tomorrow movie still.

There are plenty of war action against strong extraterrestrial beings called "Mimics" while the protagonist goes on a time loop exploring every scenario and remembering every sequence to change his and Vrataski's fate. Besides all the cool action, the visuals are spectacular, from the aircraft exploding, characters swinging in the air before dropping to the ground, chaos in the background, alien fighting every where... this is definitely a few steps up from Starship Troopers' similar battle environment. The design of the exoskeleton suit may seem fat and ugly, it's definitely more bad-ass and serves more purpose than the gimmick in Elysium (2013). The suit comes with awesome weaponry but Vrataski prefers to swing a cool huge over-sized sword (like Cloud's Buster Sword from Final Fantasy VII). The film also has just enough humour to avoid being "too serious". The performance of the cast is commendable as well. Tom Cruise's display as the coward-ish, image-conscious PR officer who eventually turns into a brave and skillful soldier, is very engaging. Emily Blunt fits the tough and determined "full metal bitch" role very well too.

With such a smart but complex plot, it's bound to have a few possible loopholes and question marks. [MAJOR SPOILERS FROM HERE UNTIL THE END OF THIS PARAGRAPH] Cage got the time loop ability after getting infected by the blue blood of the Alpha alien, which has the ability to reset the day once they are killed and it allows Cage to have a bit of the hive-mind to get a glimpse of where Omega, the alien queen, is. After they discovered that the Omega has probably reset the day and moved to Paris, Cage uses a device invented by Vrataski's scientist friend to force the vision of the Omega into his mind. How the device works is not explained but never mind. Right after that, Cage loses his ability due to a blood transfusion. Towards the end, they go to the Omega's hideout that's guarded by hundreds of Mimics to destroy the queen and end the war. How convenient is it that when Cage reaches the Omega, there's only one Alpha guarding it instead of hundreds of Mimics. When Cage suicide-bombs the Omega, Omega's (or the Alpha's, I'm not sure) blood infects Cage, allowing him to survive and reset the day, but this time, instead of waking up at the barrack, he wakes up on a helicopter, either days before he joins the army or the entire history leading up to that day has been altered... but why? Just to give it a happy ending? Is the Omega still alive on that day then? It's confusing, I wish I can read the novel. And who's to say that there's only one Omega in the entire galaxy? Even if it is, why is it risking itself on Earth for?

Tom Cruise William Cage wakes up Edge of Tomorrow movie still meme

What I would've named the film: "Timeloop Trooper: Working Out of the Friendzone" (you'd get what I mean after you've seen the film)

Censorship in Malaysia: Nothing seemed to be cut at all for the premiere screening.

To watch in 3D? Although the film was only converted to 3D in post-production, the visual depth in IMAX 3D is quite significant but not necessarily impactful. The sound, however, was mixed in Dolby Atmos format so it should be quite ear-gasmic if this is seen at a Dolby Atmos cinema hall.

Second opinion: My girlfriend liked the movie as well but said that Tom Cruise screams like a bitch.

Verdict: ONE OF THE... best "summer movies" of the year thus far - best sci-fi action flick in recent years - better Tom Cruise films in recent years - better film adaptations of a Japanese work.

Rating: 4 / 5

Edge of Tomorrow large movie poster malaysiaBased on: Hiroshi Sakurazaka's novel "All Your Need is Kill"
Rated: P13
Genre: Sci-fi action
Running Time: 113 minutes
Director: Doug Liman
Screenwriter: Christopher McQuarrie, Jez Butterworth, John-Henry Butterworth
Cast: Tom Cruise, Emily Blunt, Bill Paxton, Kick Gurry, Dragomir Mrsic, Charlotte Riley, Jonas Armstrong, and Franz Drameh

Malaysia Release Date: 29 May 2014
Local Distributor: Warner Bros. Pictures Malaysia
Studios: Warner Bros. Pictures, Village Roadshow



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10 comments:
  1. I liked it. :) I think Tom & Emily played their part excellently. And I enjoyed the 3D effect.

    Comment with SPOILER

    On the note about the last time-loop. it is actually the same day as the day he woke up in the camp.I say this because when cage went to meet the superior at his office to get the machine thingy that help him locate omega, the guy said "I didn't expect to see you again. let alone on the same day" or something along that line. (did he say "not after this morning?")

    also, during the earlier part of the movie when he was called in to the office he was instructed to "be at the beach" fighting "tomorrow".

    Which begs the question, why does he repeat the day from the time he woke in the barracks the first time, and woke up earlier than that the last time?

    I would prefer to think the last time is actually another day before the usual one.

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    1. Exactly my point actually. Apparently the novel has a way darker ending. Oh well, luckily I didn't read it otherwise I'm sure I wouldn't have liked this adaptation as much.

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  2. Reading this after watching the movie. Loved it - really mind-blogging.. Really didn't expect much from it as I didn't bother finding what it is about before watching the movie.

    On the last time loop, I think he went back to the first scene in the movie where he arrived London. So I guess we accepted the offer to fight at the "beach".. so he didn't get "arrested" and therefore he is still able to roam about with his officer attire. Then he went to look for Rita, and told her about all the plan. :)

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  3. From your review, sorry to say this, but I think you don't seem to fully understand the film and yet you put it a high rating. You mentioned there's a lot of plot holes, but I don't think there is. For the ones you mentioned above, I'll explain:

    After they discovered that the Omega has probably reset the day and moved to Paris, Cage uses a device invented by Vrataski's scientist friend to force the vision of the Omega into his mind. How the device works is not explained but never mind.

    IT IS EXPLAINED in the film. It's a transponder. You know what a transponder is?
    A transponder is a device that emits an identifying signal in response to an interrogating received signal. It is explained that the Alphas are like 'central nervous system' to the Omega, meaning that they're linked together. The device works for Cage because he has Alpha blood in his system, linking him and Omega together.

    Right after that, Cage loses his ability due to a blood transfusion. Towards the end, they go to the Omega's hideout that's guarded by hundreds of Mimics to destroy the queen and end the war. How convenient is it that when Cage reaches the Omega, there's only one Alpha guarding it and when Cage suicide-bombs the Omega, all other aliens on Earth dies along with it.

    It is explained that Mimics are actually ONE single entity, the normal ones are its 'claws', 'hands' or 'feet'. When the brain is gone, the whole thing gone right? It's mentioned that Alpha is extremely rare, with 1: millions of normal ones. Besides, alphas needed in the battlefield to coordinate attacks for the mimics, 'central nervous system'? Another thing, plot contrivances are not plot holes. They're different.

    During their death, Omega's (or the Alpha's, I'm not sure) blood infects Cage, which allows him to survive and reset the day, but this time, instead of at the barrack, he wakes up on a helicopter, either days before he joins the army or the entire history leading up to that day has been altered... but why? Just to give it a happy ending? Is the Omega still alive on that day then? It's confusing, I wish I can read the novel. And who's to say that there's only one Omega in the entire galaxy? Even if it is, why is it risking itself on Earth for?

    It's explained in the film that there's possibly more Omegas out there. This one found Earth and decides to invade it. The purpose of the entity is to invade other planets as explained in the film. Think carefully and analyse the ending. Omega's blood was in Cage's body, effectively allowing him to have the same full ability as Omega. Previously, he just have Alpha's blood, not a concentrated dose of Omega's blood itself. It was shown that the general was on the news announcing the defeat of Mimics, meaning that the scene where he leaves the helicopter is not the same as the scene he's meeting the general. How's he meeting the general when he's not in office? Omega's blood allows him to have time-travelling ability more powerful than an Alpha's of course, therefore he went back in time further than where he was supposed to wake up every time, fix everything as much as possible, preventing the deaths of many, including squad J and Rita. he altered history such that Omega was destroyed, but he was still alive. Do you understand?

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  4. After reading the review, I think you don't fully understand the film despite the fact that you gave a high rating for it. You mentioned that there's a lot of plot holes in it, but I couldn't find any. Let me explain the ones you mentioned above:

    After they discovered that the Omega has probably reset the day and moved to Paris, Cage uses a device invented by Vrataski's scientist friend to force the vision of the Omega into his mind. How the device works is not explained but never mind.

    IT IS explained in the film. The device is a transponder. Do you know what a transponder is? A transponder is a device that emits an identifying signal in response to an interrogating received signal. It is explained that the Alphas are 'central nervous system' to the Omega, they are linked together. Cage was infected with the Alpha's blood, he can use the device to track Omega since he is linked to Omega through the Alpha's blood.

    Right after that, Cage loses his ability due to a blood transfusion. Towards the end, they go to the Omega's hideout that's guarded by hundreds of Mimics to destroy the queen and end the war. How convenient is it that when Cage reaches the Omega, there's only one Alpha guarding it and when Cage suicide-bombs the Omega, all other aliens on Earth dies along with it.

    It is explained in the film that the normal Mimics are like 'claws', 'hands' or 'legs' of Omega, they are ONE single entity. When the 'brain' dies, of course the other body parts would stop functioning right? It is also explained that the Alphas are extremely rare, it's like 1: millions of normal Mimics. They are also required in the battlefield to coordinate the normal Mimics attacks, since they're the 'nervous system'. By the way, plot contrivances are NOT plot holes, They're different.

    During their death, Omega's (or the Alpha's, I'm not sure) blood infects Cage, which allows him to survive and reset the day, but this time, instead of at the barrack, he wakes up on a helicopter, either days before he joins the army or the entire history leading up to that day has been altered... but why? Just to give it a happy ending? Is the Omega still alive on that day then? It's confusing, I wish I can read the novel. And who's to say that there's only one Omega in the entire galaxy? Even if it is, why is it risking itself on Earth for?

    It is also explained in the film that there's possibly more Omegas out there. But this one found Earth and decided to invade it. It is mentioned that they evolved to have the means for invasion by having the time travel ability. Please watch the film and analyse the ending carefully. It was shown that the general was talking on the news in front of the public about the Mimic's sudden defeat. This shows that the scene where he leaves the helicopter near the end of the film is different the scene where he meets the general early in the film. By having Omega's blood, Cage gained the full ability of time travel (it's Omega who possesses the ability after all, not Alpha, therefore he went back in time further than where he was supposed to wake up every time to fix everything as much as possible, preventing the deaths of many, including squad J and Rita. He altered history such that Omega was destroyed, but he was still alive. Do you understand?

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    1. I'm sorry, just because you're easily satisfied with the film's vague explanations doesn't mean everyone would.

      If you understood what I meant by hive-mind, you wouldn't have stated the obvious here. Maybe I didn't catch the word "transponder" in the movie, but point is why the hell an electronic device like that would work with blood and boost his vision immediately of the Omega just like that? A bit convenient ain't it? It would probably make more sense if they've featured the "antenna" and "receiver" mimics from the novels. Either way, I don't care. Same goes to Pacific Rim that practically used the same way to track the monsters' portal.

      DUDE, I understand why all the mimics die along with the Omega. The problem with it is that why there's only ONE Alpha guarding the Omega at the very end, and not along with hundreds of Mimics. Maybe I should have made it clearer in the paragraph. Sorry, I don't proof read my casual posts.

      You might be right about the ending... forcefully, if we assume that Cage could spontaneously know how to use Omega's power as soon as he died. If he altered the history like you say here, then Rita wouldn't still be at the barrack, doing the sexy stretch at the exact position, with the same soldiers around still in the suits, because the war has already been won. Butterfly effect, bro. And if Omega has control over its ability, then it shouldn't have allowed Cage to go around resetting days so much in the first place.

      Anyway, there's no reason for you to be so agitated by my review. I've been known to find faults in movies just to for the sake of humour for my readers, even the ones I enjoyed, like this one.

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  5. Hey. Me and my friend have the same confusion here. At the very end, why would they still preparing for the battle that has already been won?

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    1. Thank you. Thought nobody else would notice that.

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  6. I'm confused too...if could live again after the loop, why couldn't the Omega?

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    1. Hey, that's actually a very good question. I should've just mentioned that in the review haha.

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