If you remember fondly the movie “Groundhog Day” but feel it would’ve been even better with violence and maybe an alien invasion — I have good news for you.
Tom Cruise’s latest sci-fi action flick, “Edge of Tomorrow,” is basically “Groundhog Day” meets “War of the Worlds.” Like the Bill Murray comedy, it’s a smart and intricate story, but this time with added explosions and special effects spectacle.
Based on the Japanese novel “All You Need is Kill” by Hiroshi Sakurazaka, the story begins with Earth under siege by alien invaders who resemble the mechanical squid monsters of “The Matrix” films. The creatures have taken over most of Europe and humans have had very little luck in stopping them. The one clear victory for the earthlings was led by Special Forces soldier Rita Vrataski ( Emily Blunt), who has become a symbol for the war effort.
Cruise stars as Major William Cage, a member of the military’s public relations arm who has no interest in seeing combat. When he refuses to join an invasion force with a camera crew, General Brigham (Brendan Gleeson) responds by shipping him off to fight on the front lines. Cage has zero combat training or experience and his new brothers in arms have zero respect for him.
The invasion quickly goes south and Cage is killed, only to wake up back at the base the day before the invasion. Cage is forced to relive the day over and over but with each new reset he gains knowledge that keeps him alive a little longer. He hooks up with Vrataski and incrementally they must piece together a way to win the war and end the cycle.
Directed by Doug Liman, “Edge of Tomorrow” is a fun, sci-fi head-scratcher that’s tailor-made for summer viewing. Though they try to explain Cage’s chronal abnormalities (something to do with him getting doused with alien blood) you’re better off not trying to make sense of it.
The special effects are a high point but so too is the film’s clever, twisting plot. Cruise proves he still has leading man chops and Blunt is just as commanding a screen presence. There’s plenty of action, humor and creepy-cool aliens. Pretty much the perfect recipe for a popcorn movie.