June 13, 2014
Edge of Tomorrow offers some surprising parallels to the doctrine of salvation. Too bad they’re largely of the works-based kind.
This is a thoughtful and compelling take on the film, which I saw on opening day and really enjoyed. I think, however, there is something missed when we frame the Cruise character as the sole savior. It isn't until he (SPOILER ALERT?) realizes that it will take more than he, himself, has on his own to give that the film takes a triumphant end. He had to put his trust in other people (and get others to trust him (savior complex). Moreover, the reset would not happen were it not for something supernatural--as in otherworldly.
These are good distinctions, Kimberly. (Even if they throw a wrench into my theory.)
In fact, I had originally referred to "Tom Cruise's savior complex" in the headline, but then backed off on that. It's certainly an element of the narrative, but one of the other intriguing things about Edge of Tomorrow - to your point - is the way it works as a deconstruction of the usual Cruise hero. So yes, you're right to note that it does take some surrender on his part in order to see the mission through.
As for the "supernatural" nature of the reset, I like that too. Alien blood as a sign of grace!
Josh, you're way off, bro. By common grace the movie teaches three great reformed truths:
1. We conquer the enemy by dying to self every day.
2. In the power of the blood we can reset our lives every day.
3. Ultimately the power of the enemy will serve the victory of good over evil.
my granddaughter says we men have it all wrong and that the whole movie was leading to the kiss. But she just graduated from middle school.;)
That's fantastic, David. You've got the makings of three good TC posts there! Sorry to say your granddaughter is way off, though. Shoehorning that kiss in brought what was something of a revisionist Tom Cruise action picture right back to the usual formula, in which the cocky, self-made savior gets the girl. ;)
Your comments are so distracted by your negative feelings about Cruise that they become useless in considering the depth of the movie. I am not confused about the negative impact of Cruise as the most visible representative of the cruel and manipulative cult of Scientology. Hubbard takes religious themes to cynically market his destructive scam. While I am not expert, he appears to imitate Buddhism even more than Christianity.
It does seem that Tom picks scifi movies that deal with rebirth, e.g., Oblivion. Since that plays a role in Scientology belief, it is hard not to believe he is stretching to find ways to support his cult.
With all the faith in the world, but no courage, commitment, and skill, soldiers will be dead, just ask the Ghost Dancers. The movie (and perhaps the book before?) seems to explore how discipline, learning, and commitment (=love for his buddies, nation, and girl) are transcendent for this character. It uses the common scifi trick of time mastery and immortality as a vehicle to tell that story.
Correct me if I am wrong, Christians are not against works. They do not believe that works can be substituted for Love. This excellent movie plays a much more nuanced place in that very difficult and complex discussion that you give it credit for. As we all know, despite the clarity of Jesus and Paul on this issue, it is a most difficult issue for we Christians.
In Reply to readiness_discipline (comment #27073)
Thanks for commenting, but I honestly don't have "negative feelings" about Cruise and I didn't really consider how Scientology may have played a role in this at all. You're right that Christians still struggle with works righteousness - perhaps even more so as society increasingly values efficiency and productivity. For me, Edge of Tomorrow was a ripe opportunity to acknowledge that and talk about the gift of grace.
can't a movie just be a movie, does there always have to be some salvation/non-salvation motive? besides we should know better by now which stories are good for our minds and souls and which aren't. would you watch this movie with Jesus? that's all you need to know.
In Reply to Adam (comment #28566)
I think it would be fascinating to watch this movie with Jesus.
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