Not every big budget movie becomes a massive hit. Nowadays it seems that if a studio throws enough money in advertising, makes a cool trailer, they usually make a few bucks on the opening weekend. If the buzz for the film is positive there’s a chance that the film will do even better but for a movie like this year’s Edge of Tomorrow it just kind slipped through the cracks.
The movie debuted in the 3rd place in June and only made $100 million at the box office despite it’s $178 million budget. Fortunately the film has grossed $370 million worldwide so it’s not a total loss for Warner. On the review front it received quite a few positive reviews. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 90% fresh rating, on Metacritic it has a 71 out of 100 rating and on IMDb it’s currently rated 8.0 out of 10 with 222,925 votes. Having just watched it I can say it’s pretty damn good. So how did Warner Bros., who spent $100 million in advertising, drop the ball?
The movie is based on a Japanese light novel called All You Need is Kill. The movie stars Tom Cruise as Major William Cage. Cage is in the media part of the army and he advertises the war to get recruits. A few years ago a meteorite crashed into Europe and a bunch of badass aliens called Mimics emerged taking over most of the continent. Earth has been losing the war but they have now invented an exoskeleton combat suit that soldiers can use in combat, hopefully given them the edge. Cage is summoned to General Brigham (Brendan Gleeson) who is in charge of the United Defense Force. The UDF is planning on invading France Normandy style and the general wants Cage on the beach to cover the action. Cage is a coward and a non-combative and really, really doesn’t want to see any fighting. He manages to piss off the general who has Cage tasered.
When Cage wakes up he’s been labelled a deserter, stripped of rank, in handcuffs and is assigned to the frontlines as a foot solider. Forced into an exoskeleton suit which he has no idea how to use, the invasion begins but is quickly a slaughter. Everyone is killed by the aliens. A blue alpha Mimic is miraculously killed by Cage and its blood soaks and melts him, killing him and then Cage wakes up the previous day back in handcuffs. He ends up living out the invasion again and is again killed and again wakes up the previous day. As the days repeat Cage starts getting a little better. He tries to save the UDF’s best soldier, the superbadass Rita Vrataski (Emily Blunt), who uses a big sword, but usually fails. On one attempt Rita recognizes what’s happened to Cage and tells him to find her when he wakes up (they are then both killed by an explosion).
The aliens have the power to control time. Specifically the blue alphas do and when one of them is killed, the main alien, the mysterious Omega, resets the day so the aliens can continue winning. However if a human kills an alpha and is soaked in the blood, they can do the same thing. Rita had this power but lost it when she was injured and given a blood transfusion. Rita wants to kill the Omega and wants to use Cage to get her to it. She starts training Cage and they start mapping a way to get off the beach. The movie is fun, you get to see Tom Cruise get killed again and again and again. Yes it’s essentially a sci-fi action version of Groundhog’s Day but it’s still a lot of fun.
Despite all the money that Warner spent on advertising this movie they have royally screwed it up. The trailer is pretty bland and with Cruise doing several sci-fi films over the last couple of years, this trailer doesn’t try to differentiate itself from stuff like last year’s Oblivion. To make matters even more confusing, the movie was originally called All You Need is Kill. It was changed to the bland generic Edge of Tomorrow when Warner felt that having kill in the title was too negative. For some strange reason Warner decided to market the film for home video with the movie’s tagline, Live, Die, Repeat. Heck the blu-ray I bought is identified in my player as Live, Die, Repeat: Edge of Tomorrow. There’s nothing worse than confusing people on what movie they were trying to watch. Plus isn’t die just as negative as kill? Still this is funny entertaining movie. It doesn’t break any new ground but as a summer blockbuster designed to entertain it succeeds.