Barry's Time Travel Review Score
Edge Of Tomorrow is a 2014 science-fiction film directed by Doug Liman, staring Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt in the leading roles. If you liked films like Source Code and Triangle, you will like this movie. I will not get into reviewing the aspects of movie-making or storytelling, those were well done. It was not hard to understand the concept of the time-reset or the construct of the alien creatures. I will first summarize the film’s plot and then compare it to the story in the book. Here’s the plot synopsis and the ending of Edge of Tomorrow explained in comparison to the book All You Need Is Kill; spoilers ahead.
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Here are links to the key aspects of the movie:
Edge of Tomorrow : Plot Synopsis
The basic concept of Edge Of Tomorrow is that the Omega is the central alien unit with all the Alphas neurally connected to it. The death of an Alpha causes the Omega to revert time back. It uses this revert to anticipate the course of events and alters the attack accordingly. This way, the alien life-form never loses a battle. The poor humans are unaware of this, and they run towards their imminent deaths.
The blood of the Alpha on Cage gives him the power of reset too. So now, every time he dies, he resets back to the start of the previous day. Rita notices that Cage sees the future; she too had that power once, so she asks Cage to go meet her when his day resets. The rest of the movie sees Cage and Rita plotting various strategies to get to the location of the Omega, which comes to Cage as a vision in his dreams.
Edge Of Tomorrow: Cage’s Visions Of The Omega
Little do they know that the Omega identifies Cage is an infiltrator in the alien network. It purposely gives Cage the vision of a fake location to itself. The Omega plans this trap for Cage in order to capture and drain his blood, which will remove his ability to reset. Now, this has already happened to Rita in the past. She once could reset too but lost the power because her blood was drained. When the moment arrives, Cage escapes the Omega’s trap by drowning himself and resets to the previous day.
Rita and Cage now choose an alternate strategy to find the actual location of the Omega using a device. There is not much explanation for this device but it helps locate the Omega based on the Alpha’s blood in Cage.
Edge Of Tomorrow: Ending Explained
Cutting it short to the end, Cage and Rita, with the help of the squadron, land up in Paris and plan an attack on the Omega. With their last breath, they succeed in killing the Omega. Cage is dying by bleeding out. But the Omega’s blood enters him, and he now resets the time back by a day. This event of absorbing the alien blood happens at a time earlier than the previous times Cage usually dies. Hence his reset this time takes him back to an earlier point in time. Usually, he wakes up in the airfield, but this time he wakes up on the chopper. The aliens have died, and the world is safe, Cage meets Rita again, for the first time.
Edge of Tomorrow : Plot Hole
The death of the Omega is an event that is created by Cage. Since the Omega itself died, it could not reset time to prevent its own demise. Cage can now be assumed to be the Omega (with no Alphas). So he can continue to have memories of the event of the Omega’s death – yet to occur. As far as the rest of the world goes, they should have only been shocked that the aliens are all dead, but shouldn’t know about an explosion in Paris. The blast in Paris is yet to happen as far as the rest of the world is concerned. The news, however, reports of an explosion. This part makes little sense.
A suitable ending would have been – the aliens are dead, but no one knows how and remains a mystery to the world (because the event has not yet happened, but the consequence is felt). Only Cage knows what happened thanks to the Omega’s blood in him.
All You Need Is Kill : Plot Summary
All You Need Is Kill is the original story based on which the movie Edge Of Tomorrow was produced. The lead in the book is Keiji, while his name is Cage in the film. Rita is the same name as she belongs to the American unit. Rita Vrataski is a veteran Special Forces soldier called the Full Metal Bitch by other soldiers.
All You Need Is Kill: What are the Mimics
There is a quick background about the aliens here. The Mimics, as they are called, are actually not the aliens. They are the creatures sent to terraform Earth to make it suitable for the aliens to inhabit. They eat the Earth and excrete a material toxic to humans, but ideal to the aliens.
Mimics are shown to be continually adapting to their needs. While the first version of them is sluggish and easy to kill, the later adaptations are swift and very hard to win a battle against. The Mimics are in networks. Each network has a Nexus and many Antennae. Both the Nexus and the Antennae can trigger a reset of time. Nexus and Antennae look the same to the human eye.
How can the Mimics reset when they die?
The book explains that the Mimics can send a tachyon pulse just before they die. This tachyon pulse travels back in time by a day and appears as a sequence of memories in the mind of the alien. Using this information, the alien can alter its attack strategies turning things to its advantage.
By killing an Antenna, Keiji is caught in time loops. Every time he dies, he wakes up a day before the battle. He keeps track of the loop number by quickly writing it on his wrist. Rita has been stuck in her own loops as well. She realizes that Keiji is stuck in a time-circles, and she asks him to meet her past self so that they can plan ahead to figure their course of action.
All You Need Is Kill: Ending Explained
And so they meet for the first time over 160 times. They try out a series of strategies. The main one involving a battle axe because guns run out of bullets and axes, well, don’t. They figure that to stop the time resets, all the Antennae have to be killed before the Nexus is killed. So they meticulously start butchering all the Antennae and then kill the Nexus. In spite of this, the loop is reset.
In their final attempt, they take out all the Antennae, and Rita begins to attack Keiji because, according to her theory, they have been looping for so long that they have become Antennae like. She is an Antenna to his loop and he is to hers. So to stop the looping one of them needs to die and the survivor has to take out the Nexus. Keiji and Rita have a gruesome battle and Keiji actually ends up killing Rita. He then proceeds to kill the Nexus. The time he doesn’t reset. Rita stays dead, and he’s commended as the war hero. Keiji continues his battle against the Mimics.
The ending in the movie is nowhere this dark. On the contrary, the film has a much happier ending.
Barry is a technologist who helps start-ups build successful products. His love for movies and production has led him to write his well-received film explanation and analysis articles to help everyone appreciate the films better. He’s regularly available for a chat conversation on his website and consults on storyboarding from time to time.
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