This weekend saw the release of mega-star Tom Cruise’s latest science fiction actioner, Edge of Tomorrow. From the box office numbers, not nearly as many of you went to see is as should have since it only managed third place (though it did top $100 million worldwide, so there’s hope). We here at GFR are in total agreement that it is one of the best movies of the summer, a fantastic mix of action, dark humor, invading aliens, and Tom Cruise dying in a many, many ways. Before you read on, you should step away from your computer and go watch this movie. Maybe buy an extra ticket while you’re at it, just to tell Hollywood that they need to keep making movies like this. Doug Liman’s film is one that wears its influences on its sleeve. As you watch, you notice a variety of scenes and elements that definitely call to mind other notable genre movies. In that spirit, we’ve put together a list of movies to watch, or most likely re-watch, after you see Edge of Tomorrow repeatedly.
I can’t tell you how many times I thought of Paul Verhoeven’s Starship Troopers while watching Edge of Tomorrow. When Cruise’s Bill Cage, loaded with bulky weapons, takes on the invading alien force called Mimics on a beach, the action calls to mind the desert planet combat between the Troopers and the Bugs. And though the comedy is very different—there’s no tongue in cheek political satire in the newer film—there is enough of a parallel in the timing and delivery of the jokes, of which there are an unexpected number, to call the earlier movie to mind.
Overall, the two films share a significant aesthetic bond. More than anything, there is a look and feel that reminds you of Verhoeven’s adaptation of Robert Heinlein’s classic novel. The setting, the color scheme, even down to the way the soldiers move when weighed down with bulky equipment. The entire time I sat in the theater, I couldn’t get past the idea that these two movies would make for one hell of a double feature.