For most of his career, Tom Cruise has played Intense Perfect Men. From Reacher to Oblivion to the Mission: Impossible series, the men Cruise plays know everything, they're in peak physical condition, and they never fuck up. In other words, they're boring—and often irritating—to watch. That's why, early in Edge of Tomorrow, when Cruise, as Major William Cage, is revealed as a shiftless coward with no moral center, I let out a full-body sigh of relief.
Edge of Tomorrow's premise is established in a quick expository dump: Most of Europe has been lost to alien invaders, and a UN force gathers in the south of England to prepare for one final D-day-like assault on the mainland, with the fate of humanity at stake. Somehow Cage, as a PR flack for the military, winds up on the front lines. He dies quickly. And then he comes back to life on the morning before the day he dies. And then he dies again, only to be resurrected on the morning before the day he dies. And so on.
Watching Cruise die over and over makes for entertaining cinema. It helps, too, that he's surrounded by a strong supporting cast (Bill Paxton and Brendan Gleeson) and a most excellent costar in Emily Blunt. As Rita Vrataski, Blunt takes the traditional Cruise role: She's the perfect, unemotional warrior, a war hero so intense that everyone fears—and kind of loathes—her. Blunt wears the role well, and Cruise, having to measure up to her greatness, is much more likable for it. The script is full of funny moments that take full advantage of the Groundhog Day premise, and if the crappy 3-D, murky cinematography, and occasionally indecipherable action sometimes drag you out of the movie, you won't have too much trouble falling back into it, either. It's been years since Cruise starred in a popcorn blockbuster this fun.