Certificate PG, 113 minutes
Director: Doug Liman
Stars: Tom Cruise, Emily Blunt, Bill Paxton
Edge of Tomorrow is based on the novel All You Need Is Kill by Hiroshi Sakurazaka. In the opening credits of the film, some of the background is given, via news clips and stories. After a meteorite impacted outside Hamburg in Germany, aliens, known as the Mimics, a race of odd looking tentacular creatures, spread out from the crash site and, five years later, has conquered most of Western Europe, with the major exception of the British Isles. The coalition forces, known as the Global Defence Force (GDF), has lost almost every single battle, with the exception of one in Verdun, France, which was won by the use of "jackets" - a type of exoskeletal armour equipped with weapons, but not at the level of a fully enclosed armoured combat suit, and in particular the actions of a single soldier, Rita Vrataski (Emily Blunt, Looper, Sicario, The Huntsman: Winter's War), known as the "Angel of Verdun."
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Major William Cage (Tom Cruise, Jack Reacher, Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation, Oblivion) is a PR officer in the US military. When General Brigham (Brendan Gleeson, Safe House) orders him to cover Operation Downfall from the front lines, he is less than pleased, being essentially a coward, and objects. Which results in him being arrested and sent into battle under the command of Master Sergeant Farrell (Bill Paxton, 2 Guns, Nightcrawler) as a private, from the Forward Operating Base at Heathrow. A force of hovercraft, tiltrotors and helicopter gunships, with hundreds of thousands of soldiers in the armoured jackets, is sent in.
The offensive goes badly wrong, with Cage's tiltrotor being shot down, his squad dying, and them he is killed too, although he manages to kill a Mimic before the end. Then he wakes up, again, at FOB Heathrow, and goes through the same events, until he dies. Then it happens again, with him replaying the same day again and again. He tries to tell people what is happening, but no-one believes him, until he runs into the Angel of Verdun on the beach, who tells him to find her when he wakes up.
Rita, and Dr. Carter (Noah Taylor), tell Cage that the same thing happened to her at Verdun, that he has got the Mimic's power and can keep replaying the same day again and again, trying to succeed. She eventually lost the power, so Rita wants Cage to help her end the war by defeating the Mimics - and she and Carter have a plan to do this, but it requires Cage to be trained. Which requires him dying again and again, often at Rita's hands when he is too badly injured to continue in her rather brutal training regime, as well as more times during the invasion. The outcome would be certain, as all they need to do is keep trying until they finally succeed, but, as Rita explained, it is possible to lose the power and, should that happen, death will be final.
Much of the film revolves around the same scenes being played out several times, albeit usually shortened on the second run through, and with some changes, as Rita and Cage attempt to successfully defeat the Mimics, but this is done in such a way that it doesn't feel like the same scene is being repeated, even when lines are identical to previous versions. There is also a surprising amount of humour in this, often relating to Cage being "reset" (killed) as well as the integral humour that can come from someone knowing events ahead of time.
Edge of Tomorrow is available in both 2D and 3D, with the 3D version being the one seen. Apart from a handful of scenes, in particular those that involved something exploding and heading out from the screen, the 3D wasn't that noticeable. The film does not seem at all repetitive, despite the as-mentioned duplicate scenes (which isn't that original idea; it can be seen in other films such as Groundhog Day, but it's handled well), and there is plenty of action. There's a noticeable change in the character of Cage from that of a coward who will do anything to avoid combat, to being a hero by the end of the film, willing to die, permanently if needed, to defeat the enemy. There do seem to be some noticeable similarities between Operation Downfall and World War II's Normandy Landings with, in both cases, a force from many different countries landing in France on a continent that had been occupied by an enemy for five years - although, it does seem odd that the Mimics hadn't pushed ahead more effectively and faster. Edge of Tomorrow is a good, enjoyable and action filled science fiction film that does seem to hold together with internal logic.