Is 'Edge Of Tomorrow' The 'Groundhog Day' Of Alien Movies? (And 24 Other Urgent Questions)

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Tom Cruise (‘Taps’) will be back in theaters, with his image projected onto a giant screen, on June 6 with a new movie titled ‘Edge of Tomorrow.’ In ‘Edge of Tomorrow,’ Cruise plays a soldier who finds himself in a time loop, who keeps reliving the same day. While watching, will you feel like you’re reliving the same day? Is ‘Edge of Tomorrow’ the best movie of the summer so far? How would that be possible when summer doesn’t even start for another month? Are we in a time loop? As a service to you, we answer every question that you could possibly have about ‘Edge of Tomorrow.’

Q: Is Tom Cruise playing Johnny Edge?

A: No. Cruise plays Major William Cage of the United States Army.

Q: This movie sounds confusing. Will I be confused?

A: A little at first, but no more confused than Tom Cruise’s character is confused. We figure out what’s going on as he does.

Q: Is Cruise's Major William Cage a fighting man?

A: Major William Cage is the opposite of a fighting man, joking at first that he would faint at the sight of blood.

Q: Isn’t this a strange phobia for someone in the military?

A: William Cage is in the media relations department of the military. Basically, he goes on television as a public relations mouthpiece.

Q: Oh, I get it: So this gets so monotonous, he feels like he’s living the same day over and over, and eventually he does -- just like Phil Connors in ‘Groundhog Day’?

A: No. A general (Brendan Gleeson) decides to send an untrained Cage to the front lines to fight an invading force of aliens. Cage tries to weasel out of this order, eventually being detained for desertion. The next thing he knows, he’s on an Army base near the front lines and he’s been demoted to private.

Q: Wait, aliens?

A: Aliens have taken over large swaths of Europe.

Q: Why are they here?

A: That’s not really explained much. A couple of drunks in a London bar think they’re here for minerals, but no one knows for sure and it doesn’t matter all that much.

Q: Are the aliens nice?

A: No.

Q: Is the alien actually Tom Cruise, then he has to fight himself?

A: You’re thinking of ‘Oblivion.’ These aliens more resemble the bugs from ‘Starship Troopers,’ only faster, meaner and less sympathetic.

Q: Wait, when does the time travel aspect of this movie kick in?

A: Against his will, Cage is dropped on the front lines and even while wearing some nifty exoskeleton armor, the aliens basically slaughter his platoon. Cage is killed when a bomb explodes, killing both him and an alien at the same time.

Q: Is that the end of the movie? It’s nice that he went out as a hero.

A: No. After his death, he reappears back on the Army base at the beginning of the day.

Q: How does this at all differ from ‘Groundhog Day’?

A: Well, first of all, there’s an early explanation given for why Will can do this…

Q: What’s the explanation?

A: As it turn out, certain members of the alien population have the ability to reset the day, which includes the alien that exploded alongside Will. And, during the explosion, the alien’s blood mixes with Will’s blood. And, like that, Will can restart the day.

Q: This sounds dumb.

A: It’s not.

Q: Other than the alien blood aspect, how is this still different than ‘Groundhog Day.’ He’s still reliving the same day.

A: First, he’s not reliving the same day. He only goes back to that starting point back at the Army base if he’s killed. Plus, there’s a specific objective.

Q: What is the specific objective?

A: A British soldier named Rita (Emily Blunt) had once experienced the exact same phenomena and has since gained a notorious reputation as skilled combatant -- having been able to relive all her battles until the desired outcome was achieved. Rita trains Will how to do this in an effort to defeat the main alien, called the Omega.

Q: This sounds dumb.

A: It’s not.

Q: Is ‘Edge of Tomorrow’ the best movie of the summer season so far?

A: Yes. And it’s certainly the most fun.

Q: Will people see ‘Edge of Tomorrow’?

A: That remains to be seen, but the trailers that make it look like a messy cross between ‘Starship Troopers’ and ‘Elysium’ are not doing it any favors.

Q: What the best thing about ‘Edge of Tomorrow’?

A: The amount of humor in the film. It’s been a long time since Tom Cruise has been this funny and, frankly, confident. Plus, some of the ways that Will is killed in this movie are downright hilarious – especially after it becomes a nonchalant afterthought that he sometimes has to be killed in order to restart the day to continue his training. Plus, it’s nice to watch Cruise play someone who at first is basically a coward, opposite Emily Blunt’s no-nonsense hero.

Q: Between ‘Edge of Tomorrow’ and ‘Looper,’ is Emily Blunt officially the queen of time travel movies?

A: The action-adventure version of time travel movies, yes. Rachel McAdams still reigns over the romantic time travel movies, strangely.

Q: On a scale of one-to-ten delicious hams, how much is Bill Paxton hamming it up in ‘Edge of Tomorrow’?

A: Eight delicious hams.

Q: I see Jeremy Piven is in the credits. I’m a big fan of his work and I can’t wait to see him in this movie.

A: You are going to be disappointed.

Q: What’s the worst thing about ‘Edge of Tomorrow’?

A: The title. It’s too bad that it’s not still called ‘All You Need is Kill’ as opposed to a title that sounds like one of my grandmother’s stories, as ‘Edge of Tomorrow’ does.

Q: Is Tom Cruise playing Johnny Edge?

A: No. Cruise plays Major William Cage of the United States Army.

Mike Ryan is the senior editor of ScreenCrush. You can contact him directly on Twitter.

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