Edge of Tomorrow (12A)

Directed by Doug Limon
Starring Tom Cruise, Emily Blunt, Bill Paxton, Brendan Gleeson, Noah Taylor

Fantastic premise that is Groundhog Day crossed with Starship Troopers. Tom Cruise is Bill Cage, a pretty annoying military press officer who is press ganged into battle against an alien invading foe. One Saving Private Ryan-like beach attack later he is killed... only to wake up the previous morning again. Teaming up with super soldier Rita (a buff Emily Blunt) and sadly underused scientist Noah Taylor, Cage tries to work out how to defeat the squid like alien baddies.
I'm not a fan of Tom Cruise's cocky persona in so many films, so it is actually really nice to see him as a pretty cowardly and useless bloke at the start. We actually get some character growth as Cage has to learn from Rita how to be a good soldier. Blunt is usually sparky and fun, but is oddly solemn and grim here - although she does get to shoot Cruise in the head a bunch of times!
The first half of the film is a lot of fun setting up the world. However, the baddies are completely dull CGI tentacles and the final battle to defeat them is extremely uninvolving (although thankfully not too over-long).
The team of oddball marines Cruise recruits are cookie cutter stereotypes who might as well have been wearing red shirts going into that battle! Bill Paxton gets to be a stiff military jerk, which is fun. The time resets are done well without being too repetitive, plus there is the fun of watching Cruise die. A lot!
Weak final act but one of the best of Cruise's recent sci-fi films.

May 2014

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