Edge of Tomorrow was an interesting action movie: one that was a wonderful addition to this year’s movie line up. With themes that included character development, feminism, and friendship. Considering that most action movies throw the romance into your face, I was pleasantly surprised when this one did not, and had more about respecting the other person, learning from them and working together than the inevitable love that formed from that.
In Edge of Tomorrow, Tom Cruise’s character went from a pen-pusher in the US Military to being Earth’s hero. While this isn’t an unusual transition (see Elysium for instance), it was made deeper by the sometimes humour, sometimes tragedy and death-defying attitude that Cage (Cruise) had. The fact that the Groundhog Day-esque set of events had him going through the same events time and time again and yet he still was trying to change the outcome, his struggle was truly felt by the audience. One way that his character development was shown was that at first he tried to save everyone, but toward the end he became much more mission oriented, feeling for those who lost their lives, but not to the point where he was given pause and thus distracted from completing what he had gone to do.
As far as the feminism went, played by Emily Blunt, Rita was more of a super-soldier than any of the other characters. She started out (in the movie) badass and stayed that way throughout, even though you see her die multiple times and ways. She’s guts and supports Cage through training and by giving him information that she had accumulated after she had been in the same circumstance that he is now in (the day repeating itself)but in a different battle. The best way to tell that she’s putting her best foot forward? It’s whether or not the audience wants to be her or not—which in this case I can definitely say he answer is a resounding yes.
Friendship, as you can guess, would be difficult to form if every day you woke up you no longer knew the person you had formed a friendship with. So how did Cage combat this? He remembered what he learned—little bits and pieces—from everyone and quickly showed the other people in his squad that he did know them. He was honest with them about what was happening to him, no matter what that meant for him. It took him time to hone this technique, of course, but it worked in the end and pulled everyone together. Of course, this didn’t work with everyone, namely Rita was resistant to his charm and remained professional in their relationship. Even so, in the end they were more open with each other and had more affection than when they started out.
These themes: character development, feminism and friendship, really helped move Edge of Tomorrow firmly away from being a flop. I can say without any trace of regret that I was very resistant due to the premise of the movie and wasn’t sure I really wanted to waste that amount of time on it. But now I can say that it wasn’t a waste of time, it was actually a lot better of a movie than a lot of others with similar summaries that have come out. I’m glad I saw Edge of Tomorrow, and recommend this movie for anyone—even people who don’t normally enjoy the action genre.