Edge of Tomorrow is one of the best blockbusters of the summer so far, but why did it have to have a fake love story grafted onto its plot? (Beware spoiler-phobes)
The Tom Cruise-starring movie, about a man forced to relive the same day over and over again in order to save humans from an alien threat, was beat out in the box office by a true romance, The Fault in Our Stars. Clearly, Doug Liman’s movie wasn’t attempting to pull at the heartstrings, so it feels wholly unncessary that—just before the movie’s climax—Emily Blunt’s warrior Rita Vrataski plants one on Cruise’s William Cage.
Now, Edge of Tomorrow does not pass the Bechdel Test—there simply aren't really enough substantive female characters in the film for it to do so—but the best thing about the film is Blunt's character, which is progress on some level. Rita is a woman with one goal—winning the war against the Mimics—and a unique connection to Cage. She knows why he is repeating days, because she has been through the same thing, having also been infected with the enemy alien's blood. Being able to live out the same day multiple times allowed her to win the battle that turned her into a propaganda piece, and it makes her the only person who understands what Cage is going through. She is much better at combat and strategy than Cage, and is the clear leader in the situation. Her main weakness, as the movie goes on, is that she doesn't know what's coming whereas Cage does. He can develop an attachment to her, but she can't develop one to him. The movie wants to give her an inner life—she lies to Cage to keep her distance, clearly knows the sting of death, is feared and taunted as "Full Metal Bitch" by other soldiers—but no one really gets much of a backstory here.