Edge of Tomorrow: Getting to Cruise Control

Posted: June 12, 2014 in Movies



 The best Tom Cruise movies are all about Tom Cruise. The Great Tom Cruise movies are about becoming Tom Cruise. Edge of Tomorrow is a great Tom Cruise movie by definition. It takes a cowardly but overly assured and smug media creation, puts him in the heat of battle, watches him fail repeatedly, but also learn, until he eventually saves the world.
The plot has Tom Cruise’s on screen ego, William Cage repeating and dying the same battlefield death every day until he gets it right. Edge of Tomorrow is Groundhog Day mixed with Saving Private Ryan, the Bradley Cooper time looping train thriller Source Code, Independence Day and a creature portion of Starship Troopers. It plays, feels, looks and explodes like a video game– call it Mortice Us, Crime To Us, Rectum I So or any dozens of Tom Cruise anagrams.
Along for the female support is Emily Blunt who gets to eat her words when back in 2005 in a Telegraph interview she declared that she would “rather do badly paid theater for the rest of her life than ever accept a role as a spear carrier in a Tom Cruise movie”. Full Metal Bitch everyone calls her, explaining her pissed-off character and performance. Half the fun of the movie is watching Blunt shoot, decapitate, eviscerate or otherwise watch Cruise inflict mortal injury on his body and head every time he fails to fully please her.
The whole thing is briskly directed by Doug Liman of the first Bourne films. EOT only slows towards the end when the action stops being circular and gets linear, allowing one to think of such space-time continuum plots holes as why the invading creatures are called “mimics” when they mimic nothing and always look like fiery tumbleweeds? And why do super intelligent creatures capable of destroying mankind always have to bring along that one thing that can totally annihilate them? Can’t it be left on Jupiter, Mars, and Uranus with the extra toilet paper, alien condoms and unneeded killing devices?


EOT’s sense of real history is sadly short.  Big battles of the two World Wars, Verdun and Normandy (celebrating a 70th anniversary this year) are mentioned but never fully connected.  Perhaps EOT exists in a different earth time line?  Then it could be just a piece of hipster cool retained from the Japanese source novel written by Haroshi Sakurazaka. 


By the end Tom Cruise has mastered everything he needs to be Tom Cruise action hero, mental sleuth and movie star.  When that famous Cruise smile comes back to end EOT it’s hard to tell whether it signals the end of a career or a resurrection.  

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