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I just got back from Edge Of Tomorrow. Given three other people here at Cinema Blend ranted at me about how great it is, I wasn’t too surprised I enjoyed myself. That being said, I was extremely surprised at how often I laughed. In fact, once the film settled into its Groundhog Day-like premise, I’m not sure the smile ever left my face.
There’s a wit and charm to Edge Of Tomorrow that the promotional materials don’t tell you about. Early in Tom Cruise’s career, he was able to find the balance between humor and seriousness repeatedly. In recent years, it’s been a little more difficult. So, it’s time we took a few steps back and celebrate how Edge Of Tomorrow truly gets its right. Here are the 6 funniest moments in the film…
Spoiler Warning: What follows contains spoilers. It involves frank discussion about several scenes in the movie, and while it doesn’t walk through the plot blow-by-blow, there are enough specifics here that you should bail if you haven’t seen Edge Of Tomorrow yet…
Just Let Him DieMuch of Major William Cage’s (Tom Cruise) early time loops are spent trying to save the other people from his squadron, all of whom die in various ways. The goofiest of those deaths belongs to poor Kimmel (Tony Way) who is crushed almost immediately after landing on the beach. Aft first, Cage tries shouting at him and pushing him out of the way to prevent the catastrophe, but after wasting energy on the dumbass and even dying himself, Cruise eventually decides he’s had enough and just lets the dude get crushed.
It’s a bit jarring. It’s one of those things you laugh at partially out of shock, but in the end, it makes complete sense. That fat bastard is going to die with his balls hanging out every time, and there are ultimately far more important things than whether or not he gets to survive an additional five minutes. So, let him get trampled, Major Cage. We would all, at least eventually, do the same damn thing
The Worst Escape EverAfter Major Cage meets Sergeant Rita Vrataski (Emily Blunt) on the battlefield, she tells him to come find her when he wakes up. This is a nice gesture, but unfortunately, it’s far more difficult than it appears. He starts every morning in handcuffs and has to somehow escape the clutches of Master Sergeant Farell (Bill Paxton). So, after getting himself intentionally punished for insubordination, he tries to roll through traffic as a means to quietly sneak away. It’s a brilliant plan, but the first time through, he promptly mistimes his roll and gets demolished by a car, leading the bewildered Sergeant to yell out in utter confusion as Cage dies in the middle of the road.
This one just gets funnier the more you think about it because it would seem so absurd to anyone watching. Cage has been labeled a deserter. So, everyone is on the lookout for him to try and talk his way out of landing on the Beach, but to simply roll over and end it all impulsively in traffic has to be ten steps further than anyone thought he would go.
A Random Stab At SexThe fate of the free world and of humanity itself is at stake. There are fighting techniques to perfect, aliens to square off against and battle plans to write out. Nothing has ever been more important than the training Major Cage is receiving on a daily basis from Sergeant Vrataski, but at the end of the day, she’s a smoking hot chick and when she brings up ways to pass the blood onto another person, he can’t help but test the waters and see if there’s an in there.
His character isn’t exactly the most forward guy in the world; so, Cruise moves his body in strange directions and gets a weird look on his face rather than asking her straight out. She eventually realizes where he’s going and brushes him off, but not before the audience gets a good laugh out of what could have been a simple training exercise.
Predicting The FutureAn overwhelming majority of the time, Major Cage keeps his crazy Groundhog Day ability to himself. People just aren’t ready to hear about the laws of time and space breaking down, especially as preparation for the modern equivalent of D-Day is almost finished. So, he keeps his mouth shut, but on a few occasions for various reasons, he can’t help himself and proceeds to tell Master Sergeant Farell exactly what he’s going to do at any given moment.
The combination of Cruise’s high energy and Paxton’s low energy is just perfect, as both men seem to have no idea how the other will respond once the speeches are finished. It’s also a great outlet for viewers who are invariably waiting for our hero to absolutely lose it after having to listen to the same bullshit speeches and terrible jokes ("a dead man") over and over again.
The Most Lopsided Fight EverMuch is made about how an enemy that can see the future cannot possibly lose. On the whole, that enemy is, of course, the Mimics, but often times, it’s also Major Cage. He may not be able to defeat the alien invaders yet, but he’s able to skip his way through life on the base without ever being surprised by anyone’s actions. Never is that clearer than during the scenes in which he’s confronted by his fellow members of J-Squad who are pissed off about all the push-ups they had to do when he escaped. He knows when they’re going to punch and where; so, as a way of letting them into his world, he closes his eyes and fights blindly.
It’s an embarrassing defeat for the two other guys, but it’s a great way to steal a few laughs, show the audience exactly how long he’s been in his time loop and convince the losers very quickly that they would be better served to follow his lead immediately.
Terrific PresentationOne of the great things about Edge Of Tomorrow is its ability to pause and appreciate the little things. The war everyone is fighting is chaotic and overwhelming and really, really sad, but that doesn’t mean the battlefield and the lead up to the battle aren’t filled with very human and very funny moments. One of those great little exchanges happens after Cruise is shown a stunning 3D presentation of what the enemy looks like. It’s filled with a ton of really important information, but when it’s all over, he can’t get over how incredible the presentation itself is.
He’s just blown away, and he’s positive, anyone else who sees the presentation will be blown away too. In fact, he acknowledges it multiple times and thanks to his timing and his tone of voice, Tom Cruise earns a few huge laughs on what should have been merely a transitional plot scene.