This summer marked one of the worst domestic box office performances in years – and even films that scored well with critics had a struggle to maintain strong legs, commercially. Case in point: Edge of Tomorrow, which was released to rave reviews this past June, with many praising Doug Liman’s latest for being an entertaining thrill-ride that represents what audiences love to see at the multiplex.
As many know, Edge couldn’t translate its strong word-of-mouth into hefty domestic profits, finishing in second during its opening weekend before engaging on a long, slow crawl to $100 million domestically (near $370 million worldwide). Whether you chalk up its performance to the waning star power of Tom Cruise or a poor marketing campaign (Warner Bros. still doesn’t know what to call the film), those who did see it are in agreement that it should have made more in domestic earnings during its theatrical run.
With Edge of Tomorrow hitting Blu-ray October 7 (it’s already available on digital streaming and On Demand), we’re among the many hoping that the flick can find new life on home media. That’s why we’re presenting 5 Reasons to see Edge of Tomorrow (if you haven’t yet) in hopes of encouraging more film fans to check out one of the better offerings from summer 2014.
5. The Script
It’s not every day you can say that one of the strongest aspects of a summer genre picture is its writing, but the screenplay is one of the elements that helped endear Edge to audiences. Writers Jez & John-Henry Butterworth, along with Oscar-winner Christopher McQuarrie, had barrels of fun with the film’s premise to craft a narrative that was loaded with dark humor and high-stakes (with a third act twist) to keep us on the edge of our seats.
Usually, when someone says that a big-budget film reminded them of a video game, it’s not meant to be a compliment; but this is a case where that analogy works to great results. It’s easy for the audience to get frustrated with Bill Cage (Cruise) along his hundreds (thousands?) of deaths, because the screenplay gave us strong characters to care about, clear character motivations, and plenty of laughs to keep us invested in the war between humans and aliens. It’s been a while since a screenplay this inventive appeared during the summer.
4. The Cast
Cruise is an easy target thanks to his personal life choices, but the man is a damn good actor who knows how to deliver in any role. Edge is a great showcase for his impressive range, as he starts out as a cowardly PR official running away from combat and ends up as a hardened, battle-weary warrior. Plus, the movie’s tone allowed him to flex his comedic muscles, as he injected some levity into the “live, die, repeat” nature of the narrative.
We’d be remiss to not mention Cruise’s co-stars, as well. Emily Blunt completely earned the title of the “Full Metal Bitch,” giving us one of the greatest sci-fi heroines this side of Ellen Ripley. Blunt continued her reinvention from Looper and proved that she can carry an action film by giving Rita the right amount of tenacity and vulnerability. Bill Paxton was terrific as well, using his natural comedy gifts to make Sgt. Farrell one of the funniest characters in the film. Is he American or is he from Kentucky?
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