Place the affable and ultimately sympathetic Cruise in a solitary, soul-searching predicament - (and alone in this sense can be an actual lack of people around or a lack of people who are sharing the same experience as him - in both cases / movies that translates to basically one or two other characters). In both scenarios of the formula, Cruise is ultimately responsible for saving planet Earth. In both scenarios he hooks up with the girl that seems out of reach and in both films there's a fair bit of action - although much more so in Edge.
|Recognize the slogan ? - remember the Mad Men episode where they discuss the invention |
of the ad slogan; rinse, add, repeat?
- The Groundhog Day like transformation of Cruise from scoundrel to hero (we're explore this more in a moment).
- The very cool special effects (even better in IMAX of course).
- An excellent performance by Emily Blunt as tough babe extraordinaire (she is the hard to reach love interest from the formula).
- Lot's of funky, hard to kill aliens - sort of like Tasmanian Devils with an attitude.
- Mind-bending time looping plot twists - just complicated enough to keep it intriguing without becoming too confusing.
- A classic over the top drill sergeant performance by Bill Paxton - who seems to be channeling his old Aliens character in reverse.
- Great exoskeleton body armor combat suites.
- Lot's of our favorite Sci-Fi cleashes - like the central alien hive mind command and control (won't these aliens ever learn how to decentralize!).
The film reminds me a lot of Groundhog Day and I think the connection here is deliberate. The comparison may seem like a stretch as Tom Cruise is no Bill Murray, but there is actually a fair bit of humor in this film and Cruise pulls it off rather nicely. And the repeating joke in Edge is Cruise getting killed - over and over again. This may appeal both to Cruise's fans and those who can't stand him equally well (thus potentially increasing the audience reach for this film). Although this wasn't enough to beat out some rather lame movies like the Godzilla reboot or 22 Jump Street. Cruise's transformation in Edge of Tomorrow is both entertaining and believable (well, for a sci-fi premise anyway) and includes lot's of training and new skills (like Bill Murray's piano lessons in Groundhog Day but more violent).
Does he save the world and get the girl - well, what kind of formula would leave him alone as the world's biggest loser?