Every single thing that interests me. And that's a lot.
The concept of being able to, or forced to, relive the same day over and over is not in any way a new concept. It is, however an interesting one, from a philosophical viewpoint as well as from a storytelling one. When time in a story won’t move forward, it gives the characters all the more reason to do so. By watching how the once timid and inexperienced Lt. Col. Cage (Tom Cruise) is repeatedly faced with the same events, you can very clearly see how he changes as he starts to handle the situations differently. Step by step he approaches the level of combat readiness and toughness in character that the veteran Rita Vrataski (Emily Blunt) has already achieved in a previous, similar scenario. Interestingly enough this tells us almost as much about her as it does about Cage. Therefore this becomes a successful introduction of the two main characters, their similarities and their relationship, and even though one of them is literally the exact same person for almost the entire movie the journey is implied through the one we actually get to see.
The premise of daily repetition brings with it it’s own humour, often in the form of Cage knowing exactly what is going to happen and the rest of the characters baffled responses. It’s a joke that becomes a little bit overused, but it fits well with the story. Other than that the action sequences are intense and extremely well produced. The alien adversaries, “mimics”, are deadly and frighteningly quick. The exoskeletal combat suits look good, as do all the special effects, but Emily Blunt outshines every other soldier with her metal sword and purely bad ass attitude.
When the movie approaches the third act, the very concept of repetition that has been present throughout the story is turned on it’s head, and very successfully so. What used to be a battle without consequence, a fight where every death was just another learning experience, now becomes a scenario where the stakes are suddenly infinitely higher. This turnaround serves to make the conclusion of the film both thrilling and suspenseful. The ending can be a little bit hard to wrap your head around at first, but makes complete sense in the context of previous events.
Overall, Edge of Tomorrow is a well paced, exciting, and satisfying action movie with a good script, strong characters, and a believable as well as somewhat original take on the time travel premise. I do highly recommend it.