Full Metal Groundhog Day

Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt star in a new summer popcorn movie called Edge of Tomorrow which is alike a mashup of Matrix, Groundhog Day, and Starship Troopers and is based on the novel by Hiroshi Sakurazaka (桜坂 洋) called All You Need is Kill (オール・ユー・ニード・イズ・キル). The movie title is better than the Japanese English but it still reminds me of an episode of Star Trek. The basic premise is that Tom Cruise gets to relive the same day over and over until he gets it right. The alien “Mimics” look like the robots that attack the hovercraft in The Matrix. We don’t know what the aliens want and the characters even say, it doesn’t matter. Tom Cruise delivers a good performance and you can believe that his character is going through a development arc. The rest of the character do not grow but then again they are only passing through a single day. We do get to see different aspects of the J squad. Bill Paxton is believable as a British drill sergeant. Emily Blunt appears as the strong and mysterious Full Metal “B”.

Compared to the novel the screen play is much more compact. The story has been moved to London. The threat is the same but the ending is different. We get the same reluctant soldier who must rise to have a good day. I wanted to see more of the battle axe. There are many cringeworthy moments in the film similar to Bill Murray’s resets. Visually the power suits that are featured for much of the film somehow look clumsy. They looked really awkward in the Normandy invasion scene. Otherwise that beach scene was very powerful and reminiscent of Saving Private Ryan.

This film has been released in most countries on May 29-30 and is scheduled to come out in the US on June 6th. The studio must have decided not to go up directly against X-Men, Maleficent, and A Million Ways to Die in the West. I expect it to do well as it delivers on its promise of action.