I was excited to hear that Hiroshi Sakurazaka's novel All You Need is Kill was being turned into a movie, although the anticipation was dampened when I heard it would be done with Tom Cruise at the helm. Not to say anything against actor Cruise, who seems to have found a niche in the sci-fi futuristic genre...but the book's original premise is that the young hero is green and a total novice to the field.
Edge of Tomorrow is very very different from Sakurazaka's novel, but for once I think the change is for the better. Edge has a bit of wry humor which makes the movie much more enjoyable to watch -- a sort of sci-fi Groundhog's Day. The movie is about an alien invasion that takes place on Earth. Officer Cage (Tom Cruise) is demoted and thrown into the special forces on the frontline of what is supposed to be Earth's final and decisive counterattack on the aliens. Barely able to handle his robotic mechanized suit, he miraculously kills one of the aliens in battle, who smothers him in blood while in its death throes, melting his skin and bones and effectively killing him.
Except he restarts the day before to go into battle again. Cage finds that every time he dies now, he merely starts the day before the battle over and over again. What follows is the journey of how he evolves as a soldier and a human, and how he gains allies, namely Rita Vrataski (Emily Blunt), a soldier legendary for her exploits in a previous battle.
As I mentioned in an earlier movie review, Hollywood is diluted with dystopian features: sci-fi movie clones that make you scratch your head and wonder "didn't Tom Cruise do a movie like this last year?" Thankfully, Edge of Tomorrow gives a fresh premise without having to waste too much time on mechanics. As a time-travel (ish) movie, this is surprisingly one of the tightest ones I've seen. The movie cleverly sidesteps many a potential plothole and also doesn't rely too heavily on those repeated-day gimmicks that it could so easily do.
Anyway, bottom line: robots, aliens, time-travel, Emily Blunt with a sword. You can't go wrong.