Turns out that if one mixes Groundhog Day with The War of the Worlds, and throws in a bit of Alien spicing for gruesome effect, the result would be Edge of Tomorrow.
Story recipes aside, Edge of Tomorrow is no masterpiece. But as far as using time-loops in a plot is concerned, none had been as effective since the days Punxsutawney Phil ruled the screen.
Edge of Tomorrow, a Sci-Fi film directed by Doug Liman to a screenplay by Christopher McQuarrie, Jez Butterworth and John-Henry Butterworth, is based on a short novel by Hiroshi Sakurazaka, named All You Need Is Kill. It stars Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt as well as Bill Paxton in a supporting role.
Here is what I liked about the film: Cruise starts off in an atypical role, as a softy who would rather run than fight. But don't worry – that quickly changes as the plot moves along. Blunt is surprisingly good, also in a role different than her usual casting – she is the no B.S., kick-ass warrior (aka "Full Metal Bitch"). The time-loops are well played, blending humor with action, and keeping us well-engaged. The battle-suit design looks like something that can actually be used in a military of our day and age, and not a complete work of fiction. It adds an edge to the film's realism.
However, I did not like the references to D-Day and WWII. I found these disturbing and completely unnecessary. It felt like a violation of the memory of the real heroes who died on that invasion day, especially with the film's release in the USA timed so close to D-Day. The romance between the Cruise and Blunt characters is handled well for the most part, but feels forced towards the end. I also had an issue with the sci-fi loop logic: while the short loops at the earlier part of the film can make some sense, the final loop doesn't, to a point it reduces the credibility of the entire film. I cannot divulge more without spoiling the plot. There are plenty of other such misslogic items, but hey, if we are willing to believe characters can fall dozens of feet, be hit, shot at, smacked dead and still be able to get up on their feet and fight, I guess we are ready to believe just about anything.
Though I enjoyed Edge of Tomorrow, it doesn't come close to classics such as Groundhog Day and The War of the Worlds. In particular, Groundhog Day had some philosophical underlying elements, none of these exist with Edge of Tomorrow. Still, this film provides for a fun afternoon at the movies, and though without a lasting effect, for better entertainment than the recent crop of films.