Edge of Tomorrow (film)

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Edge of Tomorrow
A man and a woman, wearing battle armour, holding large guns, and looking battle-worn, stand against an urban background devastated by war. The sky is golden, meteors are falling, and Nelson's Column can be seen in the background.
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Doug Liman
Produced by
  • Erwin Stoff
  • Tom Lassally
  • Jeffrey Silver
  • Gregory Jacobs
  • Jason Hoffs
Screenplay by
Based on All You Need Is Kill 
by Hiroshi Sakurazaka
Starring
Music by Christophe Beck
Cinematography Dion Beebe
Edited by
  • James Herbert
  • Laura Jennings
Production
companies
Distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures
Release dates
  • May 28, 2014 (2014-05-28) (London IMAX)
  • June 6, 2014 (2014-06-06) (United States)
Running time 113 minutes[1]
Country United States[2]
Language English
Budget $178 million
Box office $369.2 million[3]

Edge of Tomorrow (also called Live. Die. Repeat. and All You Need Is Kill) is a 2014 American military science fiction film starring Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt. Doug Liman directed the film based on a screenplay adapted from the Japanese light novel All You Need Is Kill by Hiroshi Sakurazaka. The film takes place in the near future, where an alien race has invaded the Earth and defeated the world's military units. It follows Major William Cage (Cruise), a military PR officer inexperienced in combat, who is deployed into a combat mission against the aliens. Though Cage is killed in minutes, he finds himself starting over in a time loop, repeating the same mission and being killed. Each time, Cage learns to better fight the aliens, and he teams up with Special Forces warrior Rita Vrataski (Blunt) to defeat them.

The production company 3 Arts Productions bought rights to All You Need Is Kill in late 2009, and it sold a spec script to the American studio Warner Bros. Pictures for production. The studio co-produced the film with the Australian production company Village Roadshow. Filming began in late 2012 and took place mainly at Warner Bros. Studios, Leavesden outside London. Trafalgar Square in London was also a filming location for some scenes. Nine companies handled the visual effects.

The film was released in theaters in 28 territories, including the United Kingdom, Brazil, Germany, Spain, India, and Indonesia, on the weekend of May 30, 2014. On the weekend of June 6, 2014, it was released in 36 additional territories, including North America (United States and Canada), Australia, China, and Russia. The film grossed over $369.2 million in theaters worldwide and received largely positive reviews from critics.

Plot[edit]

A race of aliens called Mimics has taken over continental Europe. General Brigham (Brendan Gleeson), head of humanity's United Defense Force, orders Major William Cage (Tom Cruise), a public affairs officer and former advertising executive, to cover combat on the beaches of France during the next day's assault on the Mimics. Cage objects to the dangerous assignment and threatens to use his public relation skills to turn the public against Brigham when the casualties start increasing from the invasion, for which he is arrested and knocked out. He wakes in handcuffs at a forward operating base at Heathrow Airport and discovers he has been labeled a deserter and put on combat duty for the invasion under the command of Master Sergeant Farell (Bill Paxton).

The invasion is a disaster for the humans. Cage manages to kill a large Mimic, but dies as he is sprayed with its acid-like blood. He then wakes up at Heathrow the previous morning. No one believes his story that he knows the invasion will fail. He repeats the loop of dying on the beach and waking at Heathrow until he encounters Sergeant Rita Vrataski (Emily Blunt), who recognizes his ability to anticipate events and tells him to locate her the next time he "wakes up".

Cage finds Vrataski at Heathrow. Together they meet up with each other with Dr. Carter (Noah Taylor), a former government scientist and expert in Mimic biology. Cage learns that the kind of Mimic he killed in his first loop, an "Alpha", resets time when it is killed to give the Mimics an advantage in battle. Cage inherited this ability when he was doused in the Alpha's blood as they both died. Vrataski had this ability in a previous battle but lost it after receiving a blood transfusion. She tells Cage that they must hunt the Mimics' hive mind, the Omega.

Over succeeding loops Vrataski trains Cage into a more effective soldier. After getting discouraged from these loops he travels to London, there he realises and sees the Mimics were planning on overrunning London during the invasion on the beach. He and Vrataski spend several loops learning how to survive the battle on the beach and get inland based on his vision of the Omega hiding in a Bavarian Alps dam. After numerous loops end in Vrataski's death, Cage decides to hunt the Omega alone, abandoning her and the rest of the invasion to doom on the beach. When he arrives at the dam, he discovers that the Omega is not there. He manages to kill himself before an Alpha can steal his blood and prevent him from resetting the day. Back at Heathrow, he tells Vrataski and Carter that his vision was a trick.

Cage and Vrataski adopt a new approach: they infiltrate the Ministry of Defence in search of a prototype built by Carter that will allow Cage to discover the Omega's true location. After several failed loops they obtain the device, which reveals that the Omega is located under the Louvre Pyramid in Paris. They are injured as they flee, and Cage's life is saved by a blood transfusion, but it removes his ability to reset the day.

Vrataski frees Cage and they return to Heathrow, where they convince his squad to help destroy the Omega. The other squad members sacrifice themselves to get Cage and Vrataski beneath the Louvre. Vrataski distracts a waiting Alpha while Cage advances on the Omega. The Alpha kills them both, but not before Cage primes and drops a grenade belt into the Omega's core, destroying it and neutralizing the other Mimics.

Cage's body absorbs the Omega's blood. He wakes up en route to his meeting with Brigham the day before. Brigham announces that Mimic activity has ceased following a power surge in Paris. Cage is never arrested and he goes to Heathrow, where he finds his squad mates, including Farell. None of them recognize him and treat him respectfully as an officer, as he is once again a Major. He meets Vrataski, who does not recognize him either. She asks what he wants, as she had many times before, and he smirks and laughs.

Cast[edit]

Tom Cruise, known for performing his own stunts in his films, also did so in Edge of Tomorrow. He and Emily Blunt wore heavy metal suits that depicted their characters' battle suits.[4] Blunt trained three months for her role, "focusing on everything from weights to sprints to yoga, aerial wire work and gymnastics".[5]

Bill Paxton was cast in a supporting role and also wore a battle suit in the film. The actor said he suspected that he was cast in the film because of his well-known role in the 1986 science fiction film Aliens.[6] Edge of Tomorrow was the first time Paxton and Cruise appeared in the same film, despite both men having acted for more than 30 years.[7]

Production[edit]

Director Doug Liman at the Paris premiere of the film

Edge of Tomorrow was co-produced by Warner Bros. and Village Roadshow, with the involvement of production companies 3 Arts Entertainment and Viz Productions, on a budget of $178 million.[8] The film was directed by Doug Liman based on a screenplay adapting the Japanese light novel All You Need Is Kill by Hiroshi Sakurazaka. The novel was published in 2004, and 3 Arts Entertainment optioned the novel in late 2009. Instead of making a pitch to a major studio to purchase the property and proceed with writing and producing a film adaptation, the company decided to develop a spec script to show the studios. Dante Harper wrote the script, and Warner Bros. purchased it in a $3 million deal in April 2010.[9] In the following August, the studio hired Doug Liman to direct the film.[10] Harper's screenplay was listed in the 2010 edition of The Black List, a survey of most-liked unproduced screenplays.[11]

In early 2011, the screenplay was revised to improve the third act, which Warner Bros. found weak. The studio initially approached Brad Pitt to star;[12] it then approached Tom Cruise.[13] The screenplay was revised further by Joby Harold, and the age of the leading role was changed to fit Cruise's. In December 2011, Cruise officially joined the film.[14] In April 2012, Emily Blunt entered negotiations to star opposite Cruise.[15]

Six months before filming started, Liman discarded two-thirds of Harper's original script. Jez Butterworth and John-Henry Butterworth were hired to rewrite the script. Screenwriter Simon Kinberg took over from the Butterworths, and eight weeks before the start of filming, he was replaced by Christopher McQuarrie. The screenplay did not yet have a satisfactory ending, and producers and studio executives worried about starting filming without an ending.[16]

Filming[edit]

Production began at Leavesden Studios near London. Warner Bros. had purchased Leavesden as a permanent studio site after previously renting space there for its production of the Harry Potter films.[17] Though the director initially did not want a beach set built, the production had one built at the studio site.[16] It was intended for battle scenes to be reminiscent of coastal battles during World War II such as the Invasion of Normandy and the Battle of Dunkirk.[18] The Saunton Sands in North Devon were also used for the French beaches,[19] while receiving a digital extension of the sea as there was little visible water and no surf at all.[20]

Principal photography began at Leavesden on October 1, 2012.[21] The Los Angeles Times said on the second day, Liman "demanded a total reshoot of everything filmed on Day 1", which had concerned producers. Filming on the beach set was planned to last two weeks, but the scheduled extended to nearly three months due to what the Los Angeles Times called "the director's self-described 'workshop-y' filming style".[16] Filming also took place in Trafalgar Square in London on November 24, 2012. The square was closed to the public, and tanks were brought in to film some action scenes.[22] A former army base in the village of Barton Stacey in Hampshire, England was also used as a filming location for two weeks.[23]

Liman said filming took place seven days a week using two crews to film 20 days in addition to what had originally been scheduled. The crew struggled with rainy British weather since the film was supposed to be set in one day and had to maintain the same weather.[24] Though filming concluded by August 2013, actor Jeremy Piven was added to the cast, and extra scenes including him were filmed[25] (ultimately, Piven did not appear in the finished film).[26]

Battle suit design[edit]

For more details on this topic, see powered exoskeleton.

Production designer Oliver Scholl and his team worked with lead builder Pierre Bohanna to develop concept art for several battle suit options based on contemporary real-world powered exoskeleton initiatives like those supported by DARPA. When director Doug Liman chose a design, the team built an aluminum prototype frame that had pivot points and hinges. Costume designer Kate Hawley contributed a gritty aesthetic design for the color palettes and surface treatments. While the design was meant to be utilitarian, it was also created so the actors could be seen in the suits and also run in them. The team created a foam mock-up of Tom Cruise so the frame could be suited for him. The team handcrafted 70 hard material and 50 soft material battle suits in the course of almost five months. There were three versions of the battle suits: "grunts, dogs, and tanks". The battle suit for Emily Blunt's character had red slash marks sprayed on to reflect a Joan of Arc quality.[27]

The battle suit weighed 85 pounds (39 kg) on average. One of the heavier versions was around 130 pounds (59 kg) due to being equipped with a mock sniper rifle and rocket launcher.[5] Each actor needed four people to help put on the battle suit. Initially, Tom Cruise took 30 minutes to put on the suit and another 30 minutes to remove it. Ultimately, the time was reduced to 30 seconds.[27] The Los Angeles Times said, "Between takes, the actors would be suspended by chains from iron frames to take the weight of the suits off their shoulders."[6]

Visual effects[edit]

Nine companies handled the visual effects for Edge of Tomorrow under visual effects supervisor Nick Davis.[28] Davis worked with the crew of The Third Floor on the film's previsualization process. Sony Pictures Imageworks worked on the first two acts of the film and created over 400 shots, including photorealistic environments, battle scenes, and computer-generated creatures and characters. One major shot was designing London Heathrow Airport to look covered with military troops, vehicles, and aircraft; SPI split some of the work with RodeoFX. Cinesite joined late in production and developed 221 shots for ten key sequences, with 189 appearing in the final cut.[20]

The aliens in the film were designed not to look like any terrestrial animal. Davis and director Doug Liman favored the most a sculptor's creature that was made mainly of tentacles. SPI's Dan Kramer said it looked like "heavy black spaghetti" and that creating the tentacled creatures was a challenge for the modelers.[20] A technical animator created an Autodesk Maya plugin that could make independent the movement of each tentacle and prevent interpenetrating.[29] Since Liman did not want the Mimics to look "too organic or terrestrial", Imageworks' artists came with the idea of making the aliens made out of an obsidian-like material, "basically a glass that could cut." Various debris was incorporated within the tentacles to give the creature a sense of weight while also displaying how fast it moved. The Alphas were given a definable head area to show their status as more sentient, while receiving a different color and a bigger size compared to the Mimic grunts.[30] Cinesite created the mechanical Mimics used in the training areas,[31] while MPC created the Omega, which was featured in a completely digital environment into which underwater footage filmed at Leavesden's water tank was placed.[32]

Digital versions of the battle suits were created, at times with also the soldiers inside them. A 3D scanner booth was built at the film's set to digitize the actors, while hand scanners captured the textures of the practical suits. Pieces of the suits were also sent to Imageworks for reference. The armor's shading was enhanced by using the company's library of reflection data on various materials.[30] The base at Heathrow was created by merging the set at Leavesden with digitally altered footage from the airport, where the existing aircraft was replaced with the film's drop ships along with barracks and mess halls.[20] Framestore created the digital Paris, which was recreated with photomodeling taken during three days of visits. Given the city is a no-fly zone, Framestore's artists got their aerial images by climbing an 80 meter crane that they parked in the Louvre courtyard.[30] The quadcopter dropships were based on the Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey that can tilt its rotors to fly as either planes or helicopters, while having a design closer to the Quad TiltRotor.[33] Aside from a practical build for a crashed ship on the beach head and a gimbal set to depict the plane used by Cage's squad, most ships were digital models, that had some of Imageworks' heaviest detail for both the camp scenes where actors walked closed to the ships and depict a realistic destruction on the crashes.[30]

The film was converted into 3D on post-production by Prime Focus World, which employed the same tools used for the stereoscopy in World War Z and Gravity. Prime Focus World had the help of Imageworks, who gave the company their scans of the cast's faces, and Nvizible, responsible for the hologram table used by Dr. Carter.[30]

Music[edit]

Edge of Tomorrow:
Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
Film score by Christophe Beck
Released June 3, 2014
Genre Soundtrack
Length 45:30
Label WaterTower Music

Composer Christophe Beck scored Edge of Tomorrow. The film was Beck's first science fiction film score, and the composer scored in place of John Powell, who had scored all of director Doug Liman's previous studio films.[34] To prepare for the score, Beck watched the film with temp tracks, including one from the 2012 film Battleship. Beck experimented with repeating the music with the scenes. He said repetition was only used in a couple of spots in the film because the approach did not frequently fit the events on the screen. Beck said, "The day is reset dozens of times in the film and it would get very repetitive to approach that musically the same way every time."[35] The composer initially tried for "traditional heroic themes" that involved horns and trumpets, but he said Liman "preferred a non-traditional approach, driven by percussion and distorted orchestra". To that end, Beck used the pizzicato playing technique, "not in the traditional, plinky-plinky-isn't-this-funny way, but a little darker, and always accompanied by some higher concept synth colors".[34] With Liman's approach, the composer said there were "only a couple of traditional themes" in the film, including one for Emily Blunt's character Rita.[35]

Additional music
No. Title Music Length
1. "This Is Not the End"   Fieldwork  
2. "Massive Mellow"   Daniel Lenz  
3. "Railroad Track"   Willy Moon  
4. "Trip Into The Light"   Jeremy and the Harlequins  
5. "Love Me Again"   John Newman  

Release[edit]

Marketing[edit]

"I think the word 'kill' in a title is very tricky in today's world. I don't know that people want to be bombarded with that word. I don't know that people want to be opening the newspaper and seeing that word. We see it enough in kind of real newspaper headlines, and I don't think we need to see it when we're looking at a movie."

— Producer Erwin Stoff on changing the title[36]

Warner Bros. invested over $100 million in a marketing campaign for Edge of Tomorrow.[37] The film was initially titled All You Need Is Kill after the light novel. In July 2013, Warner Bros. changed the title to Edge of Tomorrow;[38] Warner Bros. president Sue Kroll said the title was changed partly due to "negative chatter" about the word "kill" in the title.[39] The film was promoted at Comic-Con in San Diego, California in July 2013,[38] and it was promoted at WonderCon in Anaheim, California in April 2014.[6] Turner Broadcasting, a subsidiary of Time Warner like the studio Warner Bros., promoted the film across its TV properties, including CNN, TNT, TBS, Adult Swim, TruTV, and Funny or Die. Variety said the move "put forth the notion that buying bigger packages of advertisements across a TV company’s holdings is a viable option in an increasingly fragmented TV-viewing landscape". Turner also launched a website which would unlock film-related content like "a 3D game, back stories and artwork" if its promotional hashtag was circulated enough through the social media website Twitter.[40]

Viz Media published a new edition of the light novel, titled Edge of Tomorrow instead of All You Need Is Kill. It was released on April 29, 2014.[41] It also published a graphic novel adaptation of the light novel on May 5, 2014.[42]

For the film's release on home media, Warner Bros. formed two teams for a Tough Mudder endurance event series taking place in Black Diamond, Washington on September 28, 2014.[43] The teams included YouTube personalities and participants from the TV series American Ninja Warrior. Warner Bros. intended for the teams to be similar to the film's "J Squad" of military delinquents and sponsored a Tough Mudder obstacle that promoted teamwork.[44]

Box office forecast[edit]

Media reports used Tom Cruise's previous films to forecast Edge of Tomorrow's box office performance in North America

At the beginning of May 2014, weeks before the film's release, media reports said box office tracking for Edge of Tomorrow indicated that it would have an underwhelming performance at the box office in North America (United States and Canada).[8] Variety said there was a "worrisome lack of buzz" leading up to the film's release.[39] Initial tracking at the start of the month estimated that the film would gross between $25 million and $30 million on its opening weekend,[45] and the estimate decreased later in the month by $5 million.[39] The film was scheduled to compete with The Fault in Our Stars, opening the same weekend and estimated to gross around $25 million. The Wrap said the competition would potentially impact Edge of Tomorrow's opening weekend gross.[45] In contrast, Variety said Edge of Tomorrow could serve as counterprogramming to The Fault in Our Stars since that film's expected demographic is women under 25 years old.[39]

The Hollywood Reporter called Edge of Tomorrow, with its budget of over $175 million, one of the "biggest box-office risks" for mid-2014 in North America. The trade paper said the film was similar to Oblivion, a 2013 science fiction film that also starred Tom Cruise, and that like Oblivion, it would likely perform better outside North America.[46] Box Office Mojo said Cruise's films with original material—Valkyrie (2008), Knight and Day (2010), Jack Reacher (2012), and Oblivion (2013)—had not grossed more than $100 million in North America. The website forecast that Edge of Tomorrow would gross $90 million in North America and $220 million in other territories.[47] TheWrap noted that the studio has focused on the theatrical releases in the other territories, where Cruise "remains a major force" in drawing audiences.[45] Variety, writing from the US perspective, said, "Media reports have been quick to speculate that Edge of Tomorrow may be one of the summer's first big bombs based on the lack of enthusiasm by U.S. audiences. That may come to pass, but these reports downplay the centrality of foreign markets in today's globalized movie industry."[8]

In the week prior to Edge of Tomorrow's release in North America, it was estimated to have an opening-weekend gross of $27 million, a small bump from the previously estimated mid-$20 million range.[48]

Theatrical run [edit]

Edge of Tomorrow initiated its theatrical run in several territories on May 28, 2014 and rolled out to a total of 28 territories for its opening weekend of May 30–June 1, 2014.[8][49] It grossed $20.1 million on the opening weekend.[50] For the second weekend of June 6–8, 2014, it was released in 36 additional territories.[51] Edge of Tomorrow grossed $100.2 million in North America and $269.0 million in other territories for a worldwide total of $369.2 million.[3] Entertainment Weekly said after the film's theatrical run that it had a "lukewarm box-office reception" despite critics' praise.[52]

Opening weekend[edit]

Edge of Tomorrow premiered at British Film Institute's London IMAX on May 28, 2014[53]

The film had premiere screenings in London, Paris, and New York City on May 28, 2014. The cast and the crew mimicked the film's time loop premise by attending the premieres in a single day, traveling westward to attend them on a staggered schedule.[54] The film was screened in New York City at 11:59 pm, the time chosen to refer to the film title.[55] The film was released in theaters in 28 territories—including the United Kingdom, Brazil, Germany, Spain, and Indonesia—on the weekend of May 30, 2014.[8] Certain territories with "strong" association football teams were chosen so the film could screen to audiences before the month-long 2014 FIFA World Cup began on June 12, 2014. Edge of Tomorrow competed against Maleficent starring Angelina Jolie, which opened the same weekend in 46 territories.[8]

On its opening weekend in 5,018 screens across 28 territories, Edge of Tomorrow grossed $20.1 million.[50] The Hollywood Reporter called the film's debut a "soft" opening. Edge of Tomorrow faced competition from Maleficent and X-Men: Days of Future Past and ranked third after the two films in many territories. In the United Kingdom, it ranked third and grossed $3.1 million, where Cruise's 2013 film Oblivion had opened with $7.6 million. In Germany, it grossed $2.1 million compared to Oblivion's $2.6 million. Edge of Tomorrow ranked first in Indonesia and Taiwan, grossing $2 million and $1.9 million, respectively.[56] Its opening weekend in 286 screens in Indonesia was Tom Cruise's biggest opening to date in the country.[50] The film also grossed $1.5 million in Italy and $1.5 million in Spain.[51] Deadline.com said the film had good word of mouth, citing significant increases in Saturday grosses compared to the Friday grosses in the United Kingdom, Germany, and Spain.[50] Bloomberg Businessweek reported that $110 million was grossed in the first week of release and summarized its debut, "While it did solid business in Asia, its reception in Germany, France, and the U.K. has been tepid."[57]

Second weekend[edit]

The film was released in 36 additional markets in its second weekend of global release (June 6–8, 2014).[51] For the second weekend, it was on over 19,000 screens throughout 63 markets.[58] It grossed an estimated $28.8 million in North America,[59] and approximately $82 million in other territories.[58] Major performances were China with $26.7 million,[60] South Korea with $16.6 million, Russia with $8.6 million, France with $3.2 million, and Mexico with $3.1 million.[58] In China, Edge of Tomorrow ranked first at the box office, ahead of X-Men: Days of Future Past.[60] The film had 99,768 screenings with 4.06 million admissions. It also screened earlier in the week for the Dragon Boat Festival on June 2, considered a major moviegoing holiday in China.[61] Its opening day gross was $6.7 million, which was the fourth-biggest opening in China in 2014.[62] The film also premiered in South Korea and France earlier in the week, on June 4, 2014. In South Korea that Wednesday, it grossed $3.8 million, which was Tom Cruise's biggest South Korean opening to date and the fourth biggest South Korean opening to date for a Hollywood film. The opening date for South Korea was chosen to take advantage of the country's five-day holiday.[63] In Russia, the film grossed $1.4 million on opening day, which was Tom Cruise's biggest to date in the country.[62]

Edge of Tomorrow was released in 3,490 theaters in North America on June 6, 2014.[59] The ticket service Fandango reported before the weekend that Edge of Tomorrow sold more advance tickets than Tom Cruise's previous film Oblivion but that the competing film The Fault in Our Stars strongly exceeded Edge of Tomorrow in advance ticket sales.[64] Edge of Tomorrow grossed $28.8 million on the opening weekend, ranking it third below The Fault in Our Stars ($48 million) and Maleficent ($34.3 million).[65] Polling firm CinemaScore said 61% of the opening weekend audiences were male.[66] It reported that audiences overall gave Edge of Tomorrow a "B+" grade, where younger filmgoers gave "A" and "A–" grades.[67] The Los Angeles Times said the disappointing box office performances of non-franchise films Edge of Tomorrow and Blended, both produced and distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, indicated risky investments by the studio, which had better success earlier in the year with franchise films The Lego Movie and Godzilla.[68]

Subsequent weekends[edit]

In its second weekend of release in North America (June 13–15, 2014), Edge of Tomorrow had a "light" second-weekend drop of 43% due to word of mouth and grossed $16.5 million on the second weekend.[69] In the same weekend in territories outside North America, the film was on 14,725 screens. With approximately 5.1 million admissions, it grossed $37.3 million. China, Russia, and South Korea respectively had the film's largest weekend grosses among the territories.[70] In South Korea, the film ranked first at the box office for two consecutive weekends, grossing a total of $25.65 million by June 17, 2014.[71]

In Japan, Edge of Tomorrow was released on July 4, 2014 under the light novel's title All You Need Is Kill.[72] The film opened as second in the weekend rankings behind Maleficent, with an intake of $4.5 million.[73] With $14.9 million As of August 14, 2014, Edge of Tomorrow is the fifth highest-grossing foreign movie of the year in Japan, and the 15th overall.[74]

Home media[edit]

Edge of Tomorrow will be released on DVD, Blu-ray Disc, and video on demand in the United States on October 7, 2014. The Blu-ray disc includes over 90 minutes of bonus features.[44] The home release's packaging downplays the original Edge of Tomorrow title in favor of placing more prominence on the film's original tagline, "Live. Die. Repeat." Media critics believed that the re-branding was an attempt by Warner Bros. to re-launch the film's marketing following its poor U.S. box office performance; posters for the film's theatrical release had similarly placed a larger emphasis on the "Live. Die. Repeat." tagline than the actual title of the film.[75][76] Similarly, some digital retailers listed the film under the title Live Die Repeat: Edge of Tomorrow.[76]

Reception[edit]

Critical response[edit]

Edge of Tomorrow has received largely positive reviews from critics.[77] Critics praised the humor, the aliens' design, the performances of Cruise and Blunt, and the time-loop premise's ability to remain fresh. However, some critics expressed disappointment over the film's conclusion.[78] Review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes said critics thought the film was "gripping, well-acted, funny, and clever" and that Cruise was still more than capable of starring in an action film. The website surveyed 240 critics and, categorizing the reviews as positive or negative, assessed 216 as positive and 24 as negative. Of the 240 reviews, it determined a rating average of 7.5 out of 10. Based on the reviews, the website gave the film a score of 90%.[79] Another aggregator Metacritic surveyed 43 critics and assessed 35 reviews as positive and eight as mixed, with none being negative. Based on the reviews, it gave the film a score of 71 out of 100, which it said indicated "generally favorable reviews".[80]

Justin Chang of Variety called Edge of Tomorrow "a cleverly crafted and propulsively executed sci-fi thriller" and said the film was director Doug Liman's best since The Bourne Identity (2002). Chang said the screenwriters, with the assistance of the editors, "tell their story in a breezy narrative shorthand (and at times, sleight-of-hand), transforming what must surely be an unbelievably tedious gauntlet for our hero into a deft, playful and continually involving viewing experience". The critic said of the relationship of Cruise and Blunt's characters, "Liman handles it with a pleasing lightness of touch that extends to the proceedings as a whole." He also commended the visual effects of the "expertly designed Mimics" as well as Dion Beebe's cinematography.[81]

Todd McCarthy, writing for The Hollywood Reporter, said the film was "a narratively ambitious sci-fi actioner" that "takes a relatively playful attitude toward the familiar battle tropes". McCarthy said despite the humor, he found the time loop premise "tedious" and that "the final stretch becomes dramatically unconvincing and visually murky". The critic called the effects "exciting, convincing and gritty" and applauded Gleeson and Paxton in their supporting roles.[82]

Kenneth Turan of the Los Angeles Times on 5 June 2014 gave the film a positive review. Turan states that: "Just when you were ready to give up on the summer season and its cookie-cutter, been-there blockbusters, "Edge of Tomorrow" saves the day. It's a star-driven mass-market entertainment that's smart, exciting and unexpected while not stinting on genre satisfactions."[83]

Accolades[edit]

The theatrical trailer for Edge of Tomorrow was nominated at the 15th Annual Golden Trailer Awards for Best Action and for Best Summer 2014 Blockbuster Trailer , but lost to The Hunger Games: Catching Fire and Godzilla, respectively.[84] The film also received nominations at the 2014 Teen Choice Awards for Best Action Film, Best Action Actor (Tom Cruise), and Best Action Actress (Emily Blunt), but lost to Divergent.[85]

Social commentary[edit]

Gender roles[edit]

Emily Blunt, who plays Sergeant Rita Vrataski

Emily Blunt plays Sergeant Rita Vrataski, a veteran who guides and trains Tom Cruise's character, Major William Cage. Blunt said of her role, "In these male-fueled genres, it's usually the woman who's holding the hand of the guy and he's running through explosions leading her, and I wanted to be doing the leading. This was the extreme idea of what I ever thought I'd want to do."[86] Chris Nashawaty, reviewing the film for Entertainment Weekly, called it "the most feminist summer action flick in years".[87] Bustle's Alicia Lutes described Rita as "ruthless and exacting in her takedown ... of a bunch of aliens" and said, "This is very much counter to the age-old ideals about ladies being the constant, delicate flowers of emotional heartstring-pulling." Lutes said the film's hero Cage was strengthened by her work, "She trains him, aids him, and protects him (and in turn the fate of humanity) time and time again."[88] Tasha Robinson, writing a piece in The Dissolve about "strong female characters" that lack real purpose in films, said Rita in Edge of Tomorrow was an exception. Robinson acknowledged that Rita existed to support Cage in his trials but believed that "the story doesn't degrade, devalue, weaken, or dismiss her".[89]

In contrast, The Wire's Esther Zuckerman criticized the inclusion of a romantic relationship in the film and said of the two characters' kiss, "There's a case to be made that the kiss is simply an acceptance of their fate, but everything we know about Rita up until this point implies that she's a dedicated soldier, and making her a sudden romantic betrays her character." Zuckerman added, "That's not to say she can't soften up a bit as humans do, but the moment reads less like she's accepting her humanity and more like the filmmakers had to acknowledge two attractive leads ... who should lock lips because that's what men and women do in movies."[90] Monika Bartyzel in The Week also criticized the romance in the film, stating that Rita is the one who kisses Cage, despite knowing him for only a day where he had known her for multiple days via time loop. Bartyzel said Rita's portrayal was part of a commonly seen dichotomy in which a female character helps a male "Chosen One" character. Bartyzel said the phenomenon was "the new normal because it allows Hollywood to appeal to feminist concerns while continuing to feed male wish fulfillment". The journalist said Rita "at her most powerful" ultimately serves "to make the male hero into a fighter like herself".[91]

Comparison to video games[edit]

Director Doug Liman said the film's repeated scenes intentionally paralleled the spawning feature in video games, where players have to start over on a level when their character dies.[36] It can be noted that in the afterword of All You Need Is Kill, author Hiroshi Sakurazaka notes his experience playing video games as a source of inspiration while writing the novel.[92] Salon's Ryan Leas said analyses of the film noted that it "steals from the video game genre". Leas called Edge of Tomorrow's looped action "a meta-commentary on the blockbuster genre", saying, "It's a blockbuster interested in the question of how mind-numbing its genre has become to its viewers."[93] Wired's Angela Watercutter said Hollywood had been trying to produce films based on video games for years and that Edge of Tomorrow showed merit for studios to try basing films on video games' narrative structure.[94]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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External links[edit]