"Edge of Tomorrow" is an action film based on the book "All You Need is Kill." The film stars Emily Blunt as a Special Forces soldier and Tom Cruise as Major William Cage, a reluctant infantry soldier. While at war with an alien species, Cage kills one of the alpha aliens and becomes trapped in time, reliving the same day over and over. With a chance to change the outcome of the day, he tries desperately to change the actions of others to make an impact on the war between humans and aliens.
Set sometime in the near future, "Edge of Tomorrow" opens shortly after a race of aliens has invaded Earth. The aliens are known as "Mimics" because they have been able to mimic the strategies of the military, allowing them to invade Germany and most of Europe. On the brink of losing the battle, the U.S. develops special combat jackets that improve the chances of successfully overthrowing the control of the aliens.
The military gathers at Heathrow airport to prepare a surprise attack on the aliens. There, General Brigham orders an inexperienced soldier - Major William Cage - to report to the front lines with a camera crew to record the battle, which is expected to be successful. After Cage reuses, Brigham assigns him to J-Squad, an infantry division that will lead the attack.
Cage and the squad arrive on the west coast of France where the surprise attack is to take place. They are soon attacked by the Mimics who were waiting for them to arrive - seemingly able to predict all of their movements. Cage manages to kill a large alpha Mimic despite having limited fighting experience. He is then covered by the blood of the Mimic and blacks out.
Cage wakes up after the battle and relives the day of the confrontation with Brigham at Heathrow Airport. He repeatedly lives that same day over, with each replay ending with the same disastrous results. After trying various strategies to convince his comrades and superiors to abort the attack, he finds a Special Operations soldier named Rita Vrataski who believes him. With her help, Cage makes progress towards changing the outcome of the day.
Emily Blunt and Tom Cruise both perform very well in "Edge of Tomorrow." Tom Cruise proves once again why he has repeatedly starred in many of the most successful action movies. Although relatively new to the action genre, aside from her appearance opposite Matt Damon in "The Adjustment Bureau," Blunt keeps pace with Cruise throughout the film.
The nature of the film - the same day repeating over and over - allows the actors to make minor changes to their characters over the course of the film. Although the film involves Cruise and Blunt's characters seemingly meeting for the first time repeatedly, they develop an instant connection each time the day is repeated. This is due in part to their great on-screen chemistry.
Despite the repetitive nature of the plot, "Edge of Tomorrow" has an excellent pace and several intriguing plot twists. The most exciting element of the "time loop" as it is called in the film is that something new happens each time Cage relives the events of the day. The first few repetitions feature only slight changes that barely impact the outcome. However, beginning in the middle of the film, the action picks up quite a bit.
The plot benefits from the unpredictability of each day's events, and the suspense at the start of each battle is almost unbearable. Just as the time loop begins to feel predictable, a major plot development takes place that completely changes everything.
The film's staggering $178 million budget is very apparent when it comes to the special effects. The battle scenes feature such large-scale destruction that it is difficult to take in the situation in its entirety. The film has a great balance of green-screen special effects and scenes that take place in various landmarks in Europe. The special effects also create a unique look for the Mimics that appear unlike anything else seen in other movies involving alien invasions.
In addition to an exciting plot and great special effects, "Edge of Tomorrow" has unique characters that set the film apart from others in the same genre. Instead of the male lead taking control, Cruise's character is at first ineffective at fighting and willing to do anything to avoid engaging in the battle. On the other hand, Blunt's character is assertive and capable of taking action. She makes the most difference in the ending of the film, which is a refreshing change, especially for the action genre.