Is Edge of Tomorrow just a Sci-Fi version of Groundhog Day?
written by: Souranath Banerjee
Well, the recently released Edge of Tomorrow (2014) is an action pact futuristic thriller where the human race (or rather Tom Cruise) fights the ambitious aliens to save our beloved planet.
The film is supposed to be inspired by the novel ‘All you need is kill’ by Hiroshi Sakurazaka.
Unlike most of the latest Sci-Fi action flicks which look more like amazing VFX show reels, Edge of Tomorrow does have a proper story line and believable performances – it’s actually a well made film.
The theme on which the film is based is that each time Private William Cage (Tom Cruise) dies, his day starts again! So basically no matter how many times and in how many ways Tom Cruise dies, the last day of his life gets repeated again and again and … again.
Yes, the first time I saw Edge of Tomorrow’s trailer it struck me too – the core plot very much resembles the good old comedy Groundhog Day (1993).
If you remember Phil (Bill Murray), the weatherman was repeating one particular day of his life (the Groundhog Day) again and again in the small town of Pennsylvania.
Though Edge of Tomorrow and Groundhog Day are films of totally different genres and are made for entirely different target groups, but still they share the same basic theme or story structure based on repetition of one single day in a man’s life till some desired purpose is achieved.
In the case of Tom Cruise he repeats his first day in the war zone till he becomes an expert warrior and finds the clue to destroy the enemy. And for Bill Murray I suppose the repetition was just to make him a better man.
In the Edge of Tomorrow the director Doug Liman gives us enough logical explanations of Tom Cruise’s repetitive phenomenon (the alpha male alien’s blood being splattered on him and blah blah blah) though it kind of makes sense in the film’s futuristic circumstances.
But surprisingly enough there was no such clarifications given when poor Bill Murray got stuck in time. Only a couple of decades back director Harold Ramis didn’t even bother to come up with a reason for such a concept of repetition and amazingly we (the audience) never did look for any explanations!
It is kind of obvious in a comic way that Phil (Bill Murray) has to become a better man, be compassionate and kind, and find love and then only he can break the spell of repetition. Groundhog Day is something special that doesn’t need any logical theories and justifications, and we still love it.
Anyways, except for the core theme Edge of tomorrow and Groundhog day are completely different films in all other aspects. Both of them are entertaining in their own ways. Better watch them.
My only concern is that Hollywood shouldn’t start repeating itself on the same concepts again and again and again.