Edge of Tomorrow was released in the U.S. almost a month ago and has earned just over $84 million stateside to date. The film has been doing well overseas, which is good news for the studio and producers who financed it at $178 million. The film was not on my radar as a must-see at all this summer. Nope. I’ll go to a sci-fi movie, but a sci-fi war movie with time travel and aliens and, uh, Tom Cruise? Probably not.
Then I listened to one of my favorite weekly podcasts, Pop Culture Happy Hour by NPR, and the panel completely changed my mind. Suddenly I HAD to go see it, could not wait to go see it, MUST GO SEE IT. I went to the first showing of Edge of Tomorrow the next day at my local cinema and had a blast. Truly. It has been a long time since I had so much fun watching a film.
I feel an interesting sense of attachment to the movie, an ownership of it. I liked it and I want others to go see it and have the same kind of experience of enjoyment I did.
5 Reasons to Go See Edge of Tomorrow:
(This list may contain spoilers; read at your own risk.)
1. Emily Blunt
This really is a sort of drop the mic and walk away reason because Emily is fantastic as war hero Rita. Emily had been considered for roles in the past as a sidekick, but that never interested her. Her performance is one of the reasons critics have called it “the most feminist summer action flick in years.”
Emily says, “In the action movies I’d been offered before, the man is always off saving the world whilst the woman sits at home, wondering where he is. I never had any interest in doing that. I thought if I’m going to do an action movie, I want some action!”
2. The Science
I’m OK if I have to check my sense of reality at the cinema door before watching a film, but sometimes it is interesting to know just how far a filmmaker went to ground his other world in the real world. Tech Crunch asked Dr. Kiki Sanford, a science communications expert with a PhD emphasis in Neurophysiology from UC Davis, to watch Edge of Tomorrow and “consider its scientific merits.”
Dr. Sanford’s observations give the film an entirely new dimension, and I appreciated that even after the fact of watching it. While there are spoilers in her article (heads up) I do think it would have been interesting to have read this before I saw the movie so that I could have appreciated some of the production elements of the film more.
Excerpt from her article: “The battle suits themselves are entirely believable, and I think it comes from the approach used by Liman and his team in designing them. According to Liman, they used current ARPA designs as a starting point, but necessarily had to make changes to take use and movement into account.”
3. Reviews Are Good
It’s a simple reason, but since this film is getting passed over by so many, I really do urge you to take a moment and read the reviews. This isn’t a “critic’s darling” kind of film — not by a long shot. However, you can tell critics had fun watching it and some seemed genuinely surprised to have enjoyed it as much as they did. Variety had one of my favorite lines about Edge of Tomorrow, “Among other things, Edge of Tomorrow is a movie that slyly teaches you how to watch it.”
4. The Editing
What? Editing? Yes!! Last week I told someone, “Remember the clever and fast pace of the Robert Downey, Jr. Sherlock movies? This film has that.” The reason is because the films share the same editor. James Herbert’s work is so good it is worth seeing the film.
The character Tom Cruise plays lives the same day over and over and over again. At some point the audience will grow exhausted if there isn’t some smart way to speed up and slow down at the crucial moments. David Edelstein referred to those points as the ellipses in the film, and James Herbert is genius at knowing just where to place a …
5. Tom Cruise, uh, Dies
A few minutes into Edge of Tomorrow, Tom Cruise dies. He dies a lot in this movie. Doug Liman, the director of the film, had fun coming up with different ways for this to happen. He told the Los Angeles Times, “I enjoyed it as a filmmaker and audiences seem to love it.” He’s not the only one who got into it. Emily Blunt told MTV, “It was really exciting. I would laugh after each take, just at Tom’s face, going: ‘Oh, c’mon.’”
If you go see the movie and dig it, I’d love to know what reasons you would add.
Image Credit: Edge of Tomorrow Site
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