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“Edge of Tomorrow”

Warner Brothers

David Ives - published on 06/06/14 - updated on 06/08/17

Sure, the reset gag is one that could easily get old if handled poorly, but the clever script keeps things interesting as Cage and Rita inch closer to their goal. In fact, it’s only when the film abandons the time-traveling element near the end that it falters and feels like just another blow-it-all-up blockbuster. As likable as the film makes all of its characters (yes, even Cruise), it still rises and falls on its gimmick, and it suffers when the gimmick goes away.

Yet, it’s an appealing idea–the notion that you could have the chance to go back and correct things until you get them right. The time you hurt someone’s feelings, the time you messed up on the job, the time that you could have helped someone and didn’t–all of it could be fixed if you just had the opportunity to step back in time and do it all over again.

That’s not how it works in real life, though, is it? As the Bible tells us in the "Letter to the Hebrews," “It is appointed that human beings die once.” That means we only get one chance to do things right. There’s a wisdom to that. Given unlimited chances to re-set history, someone like myself might not even try to get things right the first few hundred times. I can easily see myself taking a few dozen lifetimes to sit around doing nothing but watching movies, surfing the Net, and maybe playing some of those video games “Edge of Tomorrow” resembles. With only one shot at everything, taking the time to develop things like maturity, responsibility, and an informed faith sounds like a wiser plan of action.

That doesn’t mean imagining what it would be like to be able to reset things isn’t fun, however, and that’s one of the main reasons “Edge of Tomorrow” works. While it’s not a deep-thinking movie by any standard, given its time-travel hijinks, it’s a solid, fun action film that doesn’t skimp on the humor or the characters. And–let’s not forget–it pretend-kills Tom Cruise hundreds and hundreds of times. What’s not to like about that?

In a world he didn’t create, in a time he didn’t choose, one man looks for signs of God in the world by… watching movies. When he’s not reviewing new releases for Aleteia, David Ives spends his time exploring the intersection of low-budget/cult cinema and Catholicism at The B-Movie Catechism.

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