Edge of Tomorrow
dir Doug Liman
scr Christopher McQuarrie, Jez Butterworth, John-Henry Butterworth
prd Jason Hoffs, Gregory Jacobs, Tom Lassally, Jeffrey Silver, Erwin Stoff
with Tom Cruise, Emily Blunt, Bill Paxton, Brendan Gleeson, Noah Taylor, Kick Gurry, Jonas Armstrong, Tony Way, Charlotte Riley, Franz Drameh, Dragomir Mrsic, Masayoshi Haneda
release UK 30.May.14, US 6.Jun.14
14/UK Warner 1h53
Edge of Tomorrow
Heavy suits: Cruise and Blunt

paxton gleeson taylor
R E V I E W    B Y    R I C H    C L I N E
Edge of Tomorrow Frantic action and generous humour help make this action thriller more fun than expected, because there's not much to it beyond the spiky personalities and whizzy action effects. Director Liman enjoyably flings his actors around with wild abandon as the script adds a Groundhog Day premise to alien invasion chaos.

Britain is the last country standing after alien Mimics sweep through Europe. So military spokesman Cage (Cruise) heads to London to consult with the top general (Gleeson). But he's inexplicably sent to the frontline on the beaches of Normandy and killed by a Mimic. He wakes up that same morning and starts over with gruff Sergeant Farell (Paxton) and his team of scrappy fighters. And as the pattern repeats, he learns tricks to survive longer. He also meets fierce fighter Rita (Blunt), who understands his predicament and helps train him for a climactic onslaught.

The D-Day parallels offer the only whiff of subtext in the story. Otherwise, this is just a fast-paced white-knuckle ride, as Cage is thrown into a whirlwind of mayhem. The Mimics are lightning-fast spider things that are intent on obliterating humanity, while the soldiers are macho muscle-heads with a little too much attitude to be proper team players. But this gives the actors plenty to work with, and their interaction bristles with earthy humour and snappy banter.

As always, Cruise brings his eerily youthful charm to the role, diving into each set-piece with breathless gusto while Blunt does the heavier acting alongside him. They make an engaging team, somehow emerging as full-bodied characters from their overwhelming full-body armour and the constant barrage of explosive effects work, much of which flies right into our faces in 3D. The side characters also get a chance to develop intriguingly over the course of this one repeated day.

In other words, despite a timeline that doesn't quite hang together, the script is intelligent enough to keep the focus on the actors with witty, revelatory dialog. Liman never lets the pace drag for a second, with especially sharp editing (by James Herbert) and a real sense of driving urgency right up to a massive, extended final set-piece. And the logic-challenged ending will spark a lively post-film debate that extends the entertainment.

cert 12 themes, language, strong violence 29.May.14

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