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Doug Liman’s 2014 film Edge of Tomorrow is famous for being an outstanding sci-fi action film that was criminally underlooked at the box office. It’s easily one of the best sci-fi films of the 2010’s but that doesn’t mean that it’s perfect start to finish, at least not according to the film’s screenwriter Christopher McQuarrie. The Mission: Impossible Fallout director recently shared what he thinks Edge of Tomorrow’s worst scene is. Check it out:
Lest you think Christopher McQuarrie randomly decided to bash a scene from a 5-year-old movie, he was actually responding to a user on Twitter who tagged him and several other screenwriters (including Logan’s James Mangold and Bill & Ted’s Ed Solomon) about why Ghostbusters is good despite not following accepted screenwriting rules. Christopher McQuarrie said that Ghostbusters didn’t explain things that didn’t need explaining, a sin that Edge of Tomorrow is guilty of.
Christopher McQuarrie calls Edge of Tomorrow’s worst scene one that attempts to understand the Mimics’ intentions. That doesn’t make it entirely clear what scene he is talking about, and he seemingly left it intentionally vague. Fortunately, someone on Twitter attempted to clear up the confusion and took a guess that it was the scene where Tom Cruise’s Cage visits a London pub. Christopher McQuarrie coyly responded, “I’ll never tell (bullseye).”
In the scene in question, after struggling through loop after loop of failure, Cage decides not to meet Emily Blunt’s Rita Vrataski and instead goes to a London pub for a drink. There he overhears some old timers discussing World War II and the bartender interjects, asking what the Mimics want with Earth and humanity. The old timers then conjecture about minerals and oxygen.
This seems to be the part that Christopher McQuarrie has an issue with. The characters are acting as audience surrogates here, attempting to understand the aliens’ intentions. According to him, this scene was courtesy of the studio, which seemingly felt the audience needed things explained. But for Christopher McQuarrie, the answer is irrelevant, the aliens are invading, the reasoning doesn’t matter and shouldn’t need to be explained.
He may think it’s the worst scene, but Christopher McQuarrie got in his opinion about over-explaining things by having Cruise’s Cage respond to the debate “What difference does it make. They’re here. They’re winning.” This now comes off as a meta-line on the part of McQuarrie, telling the studio that this is unnecessary, the Mimics are not the protagonists and thus don’t need their motivations explained.
Christopher McQuarrie seems to have a real problem with overexplaining in sci-fi movies, because elsewhere in the thread he mentions that he doesn’t care about how time travel works in a film, he just wants to travel through time and see how it affects the characters.
Ultimately the pub scene isn’t even bad and Cage’s response really works, but you can understand why Christopher McQuarrie considers it Edge of Tomorrow’s worst, given his sensibilities and the fact that it was studio-mandated.
Edge of Tomorrow 2 is now finally in development at Warner Bros. although it’s unclear if Christopher McQuarrie will be involved. Either way, hopefully the studio trusts the property this time around and manages to market it better.
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