It’s game over for sci-fi schlock
By Ian Murphy 06/12/2014
Edge of Tomorrow
Directed by Doug Liman
Starring: Tom Cruise, Emily Blunt, Bill Paxton
Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of sci-fi action and violence, language and brief suggestive material
1 hr. 53 min.
Tom Cruise has had a troubled relationship with science fiction. Which is ironic, considering his devotion to the fictional works of L. Ron Hubbard. And Edge of Tomorrow is, sadly, yet another casualty among the many sci-fi flicks that have starred Mr. Cruise. A terrible case of history repeating. Which is also irony.
Basically, an alien race has hit the Earth in a remorseless assault, unbeatable by any military across the globe. William Cage (Cruise) is an officer who has never seen a day of combat and who is unceremoniously dropped into what amounts to a suicide mission. Killed within a mere matter of minutes, Cage now finds himself inexplicably (and ridiculously) thrown into a time loop, forcing him to live out the same battle over and over, fighting and dying again . . . and again . . . and again. But with each battle, Cage becomes better able to engage the adversaries with increasing skill, alongside Special Forces warrior Rita (Emily Blunt). And as Cage and Rita take the fight to the aliens, each repeated encounter gets them one step closer to defeating them. Or so they think.
The action sequences in the film are fantastic, and if you have the opportunity to see it in IMAX 3-D, do so. That experience will hopefully distract you from the cringe-worthy writing and directing that might have actually been done by an Xbox. Seriously, this movie should have been titled “We Couldn’t Get the Rights to HALO, so How About This?” Big, splashy sci-fi action epics are the norm for summer fare, so the fact that this “film” exists is truly no surprise. Of course, neither is anything in this movie. The entire bit about a random, clearly unqualified and cowardly soldier picked to be the chosen one is laughable in the extreme. The only way it makes sense is if you factor in that Tom Cruise thinks he is the center of the universe. Because that’s what this derivative piece of action trash cinema is. It exists simply to remind the world that if Bruce Willis is busy, Tom Cruise can save us all. Which is silly, because we all know that that is Harrison Ford’s job.
But save us from what? Sure, the aliens are menacing and evil (they do tear up quite a bit of dirt and bodies when they show up) but the audience is never adequately informed about what exactly they are. Why did they come to kick Earth’s collective ass? Even the movie Signs gave us an explanation, and that film was not good. Movies that successfully make us dread extraterrestrial invaders give us the lowdown on their threat level. Aliens, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, etc., make it clear what the stakes are. And the stakes are extinction of our species. Edge of Tomorrow bludgeons you over the head with nothing more than popcorn theatrics, a lack of suspense and constant repetitive nonsense. And that is not worth the price of admission. And that is not worth the price of admission.