In Edge of Tomorrow, Emily Blunt plays a straight up badass named Rita Vrataski. Her character’s weapon of choice for fighting aliens is a sharpened piece of a helicopter blade, which should provide a glimpse into her psyche and her warrior mentality. She also shoots Cruise in the head repeatedly over the course of their training. Watching this movie, she comes across as natural, so you wouldn’t necessarily guess that this is her first time tackling this kind of hardcore action in a movie. Though she doesn’t have many films of this ilk on her resume, this isn’t Blunt’s first sci-fi rodeo. She’s appeared in films like The Adjustment Bureau, but her turn in Rian Johnson’s time travel noir Looper is the one you should check out first.
Though not action heavy, especially where she is concerned, Looper has Blunt playing a tough, shotgun wielding mother, someone not to be trifled with, especially when it comes to protecting her child. When Joe (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), a specialized breed of hitman who assassinates targets from the future, is sent back (played by Bruce Willis), the two versions engage in a frantic search for the child who will eventually become a crime lord and take away the only thing that ever matters in either of their lives.
Groundhog Day may not, technically speaking, be a true science fiction movie, but given that Bill Murray’s character Phil gets stuck in an endless loop of time, much like Cruise’s Bill Cage in Edge of Tomorrow, we’re willing to let that detail slide. Outside of Ghostbusters, and maybe Stripes, this 1993 comedy is the best of all the team ups between Murray and Harold Ramis. Funny and heartfelt, there’s a reason why we still talk about it on the regular more than two decades after it hit theaters.
There’s also a very good reason why nearly every review of Edge of Tomorrow compares the story to Groundhog Day (I’m actually proud of myself that I was able to write my entire review and not make that connection). When Cage dies battling an alien invasion, he wakes up the morning before, only to relive a chaotic D-Day-esque invasion and die again, and again, and again. There is seriously a montage of Tom Cruise dying in new and inventive ways. He never takes a toaster into the bath with him like Phil, but does get run over, crushed, ripped apart, and shot, so there’s that.