Sure, it’s a gimmick, and it’s been used before.
But it’s been used before brilliantly, in one of the best comedies ever — “Groundhog Day” — and in the underrated “Source Code.”
“Edge of Tomorrow” puts its own spin on the “living the same day over and over again” idea perfected by “Groundhog Dog,” and it’s surprisingly smart and entertaining.
The film is set on a future earth where a race of terrifyingly fast and strong squid-like aliens called Mimics (looking like something out of “The Matrix”) have invaded Europe and are spreading out across the world, threatening the entire human race.
The face of the resistance is heroic female soldier Rita Vrataski (a buff Emily Blunt), while suave but cowardly William Cage (Tom Cruise) is the military public relations officer who helps sell the image.
Much to his chagrin, however, Cage finds himself swept up in humanity’s desperate and doomed D-Day-like counterattack. Suited up in one of those motorized exoskeletons that all sci-fi movie soldiers use, he’s still a lamb being led to slaughter, except …
Cage dies on the battlefield, but wakes up at the start of the previous day (no, “I Got You Babe” is not playing on his clock radio). Every day he dies, every day he learns a little more — including the fact that Blunt’s Rita once had the same power.
The two meet anew every day and work together to find a solution to the alien problem. It’s a lot like saving your favorite video game before trying something tricky again and again until you get it right. And in “Edge of Tomorrow,” it’s similarly addictive.
The film moves at a good pace, and the effects and battle scenes are quite good. Bill Murray does not make a cameo appearance, but the movie has some light touches and several moments of humor.