Cowardly Major Cage hides behind a media-friendly PR drive to recruit more soldiers in the war against the alien ‘Mimics’. When he cannot escape the war, he is deployed during a battle that was supposed to turn the tide in humanity’s favour, but is killed along with all the other soldiers massacred by an inexplicable ambush. Even more inexplicable is when he wakes up to find it is the day before. Teaming up with the heroic but coldly efficient Vrataski, he must learn to use his new power to destroy the Mimics once and for all. But when every death means a re-set to the day before, does life become worth saving?

Edge Of Tomorrow (2014) – Director: Doug Liman

is edge of tomorrow appropriate for kids

Rating: 12

Running Length: 113 mins

Starring: Tom Cruise, Emily Blunt, Brendon Gleeson

Genre: Sci-Fi, Action, War

REVIEW

Loosely based on the novel ‘All You Need Is Kill’ by Hiroshi Sakurazaka, and taking its cues from a whole host of other movies (‘Groundhog Day’ and ‘Source Code‘, to name the obvious), what ‘Edge Of Tomorrow’ may be lacking in originality (look to any number of sci-fi TV shows and you are bound to find the ‘re-live the same day over and over’ episode in there somewhere), it does make up in having a witty script, somewhat tongue-in-cheek attitude to death (in the second act, at least), and, of course, the ever reliable presence of Mr Tom Cruise in the lead.

Cruise plays Major Cage, a soldier by title only. It’s refreshing to see him portray, initially, a blatant coward who tries to weasel, plead, and flat-out blackmail his way out of combat. And yet he gets trapped by a stubborn General (Gleeson) into joining the Big Push against the enemy (called the ‘Mimics’) and swiftly dies on his feet, only to wake up again the previous morning; confused and still inept. The ‘Hero Of Verdun’, Rita Vrataski (Blunt) is the tough mentor that beats out Cage’s wobble-kneed desire to escape, but her cold, pragmatic approach (such as constantly shooting Cage in the head to ‘re-set’ the day if he so much as gets a scratch) lends both a comic turn and also a fiercely driven presence to the screen. ‘Edge of Tomorrow’ belongs to both Cruise and Blunt, and they command the screen in equal measure.

As the movie progresses it becomes clear that Cage has lived many more repeated days than we are shown which adds a nice element of combined weariness and desperation which feeds into the relationship between the co-stars and allow the audience to care about what happens to them, given the lack of tension in knowing that they will simply re-start should things go awry. Original or not, the concept is entertaining. It’s therefore telling that when the magic ‘return to start’ device is removed for act three, ‘Edge Of Tomorrow’ veers a little too close to a generic war flick (via the videogame mentality of titles such as ‘Call Of Duty’). However, it’s the interplay between Cruise and Blunt that rescues ‘Edge Of Tomorrow’ and helps make this movie a great popcorn muncher for older kids and parents alike.

IS ‘EDGE OF TOMORROW’ SUITABLE FOR CHILDREN?

When Cage comes to after being knocked out by tasers he sees a bus go past. There is a promotional post for the war effort which has a picture of Vrataski but this has been altered with graffiti to refer to her as a ‘Full Metal B****’, the words of which are shown on-screen. She is referred to by this name on two more occasions although in both instances the character who starts using this nickname is cut off before the last word.

When Cage first goes into battle (very reluctantly) he is terrified. The transport ship is hit by enemy fire and several unnamed characters are killed due to part of the plane being torn off. Other minor characters that we have been introduced to are crushed by debris, shot down by enemy fire and caught in explosions. The battle is played much like a scene from ‘Saving Private Ryan’ due to the constant death and weapons fire, but has nowhere near the same level of graphic violence. There is virtually no blood and all deaths are very quick and not lingered upon.

However, at the end of this scene Cage is pinned to the ground by a larger than normal enemy (later referred to as an ‘Alpha’). He fires his weapon into it as it lunges at him and there is an explosion which burns Cage to death. We see a close up shot of his screaming face as it smoulders; his eyes are completely grey, his skin charred, and part of his open mouth disintegrates. This is shown on camera for around 5 – 10 seconds. Cage then wakes up, starting the day again from the point in which he regained consciousness earlier.

During a scene whereby Cage is suiting up with the rest of the team he has been planted into (J Squad) one character is wearing battle arms but no pants (although he is wearing a jock strap). There is a brief shot whereby his bare buttocks can be seen for a few seconds. This is not sexual and the squad members chastise him for doing it.

Much of the rest of the violence is very similar to the above. There is little blood, but characters on the battlefield are killed constantly in the background.

Cage seeks out Vrataski to teach him how to be combat ready. She is aware that his death will re-set the day and so whenever Cage is injured in any way she simply shoots him in the head so that they can start again. The camera always focuses on Vrataski when she does this and we don’t see the bullet hit Cage. Cage often protests when Vrataski goes to kill him but this is played as a sense of irritation rather than fear and so is often comical in tone. Cage also gets killed in a variety of ways whilst he learns how to avoid the various dangers but as we know that he will simply wake up again the previous day these are also treated comically.

Near the end of the film once character is impaled by a Mimic and we see it’s ‘arm’ go through. Blood then flows out of the wound and into water but no injury detail is shown.

The majority of the unsuitable content is down to the cursing and bad language present. This is mostly moderate but it is frequent. The strongest example is when one character exclaims ‘holy fu…’ before being cut off.

CAN I SEE A CLIP?

VERDICT

What ‘Edge Of Tomorrow’ does well is cast two engaging and likeable stars who have enough spark together that the interesting, albeit unoriginal, concept does not get bogged down in its own cleverness. Indeed, the mechanics of ‘how’ the re-set happens is not lingered upon for any longer than necessary which gives ‘Edge Of Tomorrow’ the space to squeeze in explosive battle scenes, a black humour in multiple deaths, and a brief flirtation with the weariness of experience. These elements combined equal a movie experience that will be enjoyable both for older children (to whom the concept may, in fact, be delightfully new) and adults who know the pedigree but can enjoy seeing it repeated for extra kicks. However, more than anything else the bad language may be a dissuading factor for some parents and so, depending on your attitude to such content, we would recommend ‘Edge of Tomorrow’ as suitable for children aged 10 and above.

  • Violence: 3/5 (constant war battle scenes but lacking in gore or injury detail)
  • Emotional Distress: 1/5
  • Fear Factor: 2/5 (the Mimics are large metallic-looking aliens with many tentacles that whip around. They could frighten younger children but they are, essentially, fodder to be shot down by the humans and the threat soon diminishes when the concept of the repeated day is introduced)
  • Sexual Content: 1/5 (Cage wonders aloud if blood passing between two people will transfer the ability to re-start the day. He then makes some subtle body motions to indicate his is talking about sex. Vrataski cuts in by saying, ‘Sex? Won’t work. I tried.’ Cage responds, ‘How many times?’ Also, when Cage complains that he’s never been trained before, one character responds unsympathetically by countering ‘I’ve never been with two girls at the same time before’)
  • Bad Language: 4/5 (constant mild to moderate bad language and blasphemy. One half uttered strong usage)
  • Dialogue: 1/5 (Cage is described to the other soldiers as a ‘deserter’ and they therefore treat him with scorn and insults. However, this isn’t shown to particularly affect Cage (he’s more worried about going into battle) and he learns to deal with it quickly)
  • Other notes: Deals with themes of determinism, fatalism, war mongering and invasion.

Words by Mike Record

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