It's a movie made for and by action :
You could almost consider the lack of personality of Doug Liman direction is a quality: indeed, he allows all images to coexist and to be able to mix altogether. The movie never falls into the traps of time loops features stylization : Liman almost never uses the same shots neither a systematic approach to underline the repetitive content of the film. He remains following its main character: we never see the hero's death since the hero himself does not see it. Somehow, Liman's almost anonymous direction is the key of the film success setting the viewer in a "gamer" posture. The "developers" give up their seat to the audience. Many articles state there are mainly qualities to find in the script and in the editing; the director seems to be only a "go-between". Indeed, the script is exemplary in several respects. It dominates completely as its structure is Edge of Tomorrow's "real direction". This is explicitly the story of a character who must get it right without fail or be condemned to experience the same events again and again endlessly until the audience / world is saved. The strength of the script holds in considering his concept purely in terms of action. In this world, inaction inevitably leads to death. Even when he doesn't perish in the battlefield, our hero will die several hours later in a world finally conquered by the ETs. And, it will never stop. This loop seems to meet the first mission in which our heroes died and found himself contaminated by the enemy.
The narrative explanation of his new abilities reverses this usual story prospects: there will be no reason for this phenomenon other than accidental. The loop actually allows the hero to try to "change the world" and "transform himself" by modifying what he has just seen in another loops, but this is only the consequences of an 'accident'. No signs of destiny here. The entrance in the movie of a second character, the "Angel of Verdun" will help Cruise appropriating the loop. Or rather, Cruise will eventually deal with someone who can produce meaning out of his actions. The character opens up new narrative perspectives: aha has been herself affected by the same "power" and lost it
Edge of tomorrow training montages are particularly strange because they never seem to mark the progress in time. In the first one, all trainings end with the hero's death, making the repetition an unbearable pain perception linked to the image of the woman soldier. The second shows in contrast successive deaths of the Angel of Verdun, which the main character is now calling Rita. The repetition is affecting him : he can't see his sidekick "like before" :
These "emotional packages" that are common elements a bit stereotyped and clumsy, are here taken "first-degree": it is actually witnessing the same repeated endless action. But all these actions only allow us to see perceptions and affects. Edge of Tomorrow script seems to anticipate the movie edition, and leads the viewer to consider what will disrupt. These blanks in the action are of ellipses, continuity error or missing images. Pretty soon, the ellipse becomes a constitutive element of the film, getting the viewer to search for clues in every direction: he must imagine the sequences that have been "hidden" but also remember what has been said before, even anticipate. He is forced to by the script. The film ellipses are like a "hide-and-seek" in time game. As we're viewing again and again the same elements, in one the loop, we discover for once a completely different alternative version. Our hero is on a motorcycle on a road. We're joining him in an English pub enjoying a beer. It takes some time for the audience to understand we're watching a version of the story in which our hero escaped from the military camp. There were certainly many escape attempts, and they have been erased by a simple ellipse, as most events experienced by the heroes
"Edge of tomorrow training montages are particularly strange because they never seem to mark the progress in time"
The movie melancholy lies in the fact that it will be only alternative versions and we'll only be able to see a small part of the long hero's journey. It is possible that hundreds and hundreds of versions were cut during the "editing". Conversely, even when there's no apparent ellipse, there are suspicions that some sequences might have been cut. The best sequence of the film seems to take place continuously without death and change "version": the two heroes finally manage to extricate themselves from the battlefield and get to access a vehicle. After a conversation, in which the hero tells his sidekick they have already experienced this part of the mission, the two find themselves in a farm First question: was there an ellipse? Everything happens too fast, too well, it is not possible. This will be confirmed a few moments later, when Rita realizes this is not the first time they've come to the farm by observing her sidekick's behavior. But was there an ellipse? We do not know. We really know there had been a continuity error because it's written on the actress face: she is mirroring the ellipse.