In the movie Edge of Tomorrow, when Tom Cruise is getting suited up into the mechanised fighting suit, a soldier tells him about "the safety", to which Tom asks "Where is the safety"? The others just laugh and say "exactly".

I didn't get the joke. Why did they say "exactly"?

3 Answers 3


The conversation actually goes like this:

Cruise: "Listen, man. I could hurt someone with this..."

Soldier: "Not with the safety on. you won't."

Cruise: "Wait. Where's the safety?"

Soldier: "Exactly."

It's clear from the full dialogue that the "Exactly" gag centers around the fact that Cruise's character doesn't know how the suit works, and by putting the safety on he will not be able to injure anyone in a "friendly fire" incident.

  • to add, at this point in the story the soldiers have a high level of disdain for his character as he is seen as a deserter, so if he dies it's no loss to them
    – DForck42
    Mar 2, 2020 at 21:17

First of all, Tom Cruises' character is not a soldier and is therefore not used to warfare, guns, etc.

Secondly, in a lot of warfare, friendly fire can cause a lot of casualties.

So, explaining about the safety and then not telling him where it is gives a subtle message that he's not going to be able to fire his gun and endanger anyone. Thus providing an extra level of 'safety' for his comrades...


We need to summarize the battle initiation dialogue of character Master Sergeant Farell just before the helicopter explodes. All along, this character is shown not to have high hopes from Cage, that he would show extraordinary heroism in the battlefield. And this is turn was complemented by a somewhat similar approach from the team members as well.

Master Sergeant Farell : [in the helicopter] two minutes to drop, it's alright to be scared. Remember, there is no courage without fear.

Master Sergeant Farell : Griff, I want you to take care of Private Cage.

Griff : What, all day long?

Master Sergeant Farell : Something tells me it won't be that long.

And then we need to consider the individual comments from the teammates as it becomes quite evident that they weren't very hopeful of Cage's combat skills.

To answer your question: I didn't get the joke. Why did they say "exactly"? The joke was that Cage was asking for the safety switch on the gun he was supposed to shoot from as we see later, he takes quite a while to figure that out on the battlefield itself. enter image description here

But the when the team mates answered "Exactly", what they meant was "Yes..Exactly!!...where is the safety in this endeavor; specially for you!". Meaning its not going to be safe for Cage at all. Not even the remotest possibility that he would survive this battle. Hence the lines:

  1. "There's a dead guy in it(battle suit)."
  2. "Watch your back coz no one else will.". These are two of the most repeated lines from all the loops. And incidentally the lines which makes him realize that it is a loop.
  • 1
    Thanks Sudip, but somehow that explanation does not seem to fit.
    – Julia
    Dec 3, 2017 at 18:09
  • @Anon Could you please enlighten me a bit on why doesn't this fit? so that I can give you more proof of the same. Dec 3, 2017 at 18:16
  • @Anon: There are two possible interpretations for "exactly" that are equally valid: (1) There is no safety in war (not referring to the gun safety, but rather the possibility of dying in a war) or (2) they are saying "exactly" to mean "and this is why we think you won't last long, you don't even know how the safety works!". Either would be appropriate, but I think (1) is what they intended to say.
    – Flater
    Dec 4, 2017 at 17:04

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