Warning: Spoilers ahead.
If you head out to see Tom Cruise’s new movie “Edge of Tomorrow” this weekend, you’ll probably have a good time until the end.
It’s not that it’s all out terrible, but it is kind of confusing.
(If you’ve read the graphic novella the film is based on, “All You Need is Kill,” you may have a difference in opinion.)
Last chance to head back before major spoilers.
As you’ve probably seen in trailers, the movie follows Cruise’s character Major William Cage as he relives the same day over and over again trying to figure out how to defeat an alien race called the Mimic.
The movie avoids getting caught up in the usual monotone drone of its own déjà vu, moving the plot along to feel fresh. It’s particularly fun watching Cruise get beat up again and again until he masters the suit used by military to take on the Mimics.
The movie hits nearly every beat until the final stretch.
At the film’s end, Cage risks his life to kill an alien species at the Louvre while dying in the process.
However, his blood mixes with that of a specific alpha alien’s blood. Earlier in the film, it’s explained this is what causes a person to relive days over and over again.
Afterward, Cage wakes up a few days prior at the movie’s start, except this time, he finds that the future is completely changed. There are no oncoming alien attacks. There’s been an explosion in Paris.
The movie ends and the viewer is left with a lot of questions:
- Why did Cage get sent back to the beginning of the film as opposed to any other point in time?
- Does Cage still have the ability to relive days over and over again?
- And, most importantly, are the aliens actually dead?
It’s not a great ending.
Honestly, the film could have (and probably should have) ended a few minutes earlier with Cage dying, mixing his blood with that of aliens, and fading to black to let the viewer wonder what happened next.
Reviews have pointed out it was the weakest part of the film:
“Unfortunately, the final stretch becomes dramatically unconvincing and visually murky, … where a seriously underwhelming and downright odd final reckoning takes place.”
“Lazy, obvious plotting supplants innovation and ingenuity as the end nears, making for a film that comes close to greatness, but sadly falls short at the final hurdle.”
“Eventually our hero has to reach the final level of this feature-length video game and complete his mission, and that’s where Edge of Tomorrow disappointingly succumbs to the routine territory of third act showdowns in post-apocalyptic sci-fi. You know the drill: nest invasion, bomb drop, heroic sacrifice, last-minute twist.”
If you weren’t impressed with the movie’s end either, there’s a simple explanation for why it paled in comparison to the rest of the film.
Screenwriters couldn’t get it right to make Warner Bros. happy.
The script for “Edge of Tomorrow” was reworked so many times that when the movie started filming the ending to the movie still wasn’t sorted out.
According to the L.A. Times, two-thirds of the original script was tossed out six months before filming began.
“A mere eight weeks before physical production began on ‘Edge of Tomorrow,’ with screenwriter Christopher McQuarrie taking over from ‘X-Men: Days of Future Past’ scribe Simon Kinberg, who had in turn taken over from sibling writers Jez and John-Henry Butterworth, the film was still without a final act that [Doug] Liman [the director] found satisfactory.”
When “Edge of Tomorrow” finally began filming, it was without a finished script that the L.A. Times says resulted in “a testy exchange” between the director, Cruise, and Blunt.
The current end to the film bears little resemblance to the novella which sees Cruise’s character live while Blunt’s dies in a sacrifice for his life.
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