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Lifestyle

June 5, 2014

Tom Cruise experiences 'Groundhog D-Day' in 'Edge of Tomorrow'

In this year’s annual Tom Cruise sci-fi epic, he plays a future soldier condemned to repeat the same botched D-Day invasion until he triumphs against the alien beasties who keep killing him and forcing him to start this waking nightmare again.

Titles worth considering — “Groundhog D-Day”? Or maybe, ““A Million Ways to Die in the Future?”

“Edge of Tomorrow” could have been another “Next” or “Knowing,” lame variations on a Nic Cage-knows-the-future theme. But it’s almost as good as Jake Gyllenhaal’s earlier take on this sort of plot, “Source Code,” a thriller about a time traveler dealing with a steep learning curve as he frantically tries to work through variations of who set off a bomb on a train.

“Edge,” based on a Hiroshi Sakurazaka novel, script partly credited to Christopher (“Usual Suspects”) McQuarrie and directed by Doug (“The Bourne Identity”) Liman, gets its juice from its action and its life from its humor. No kidding, almost every time Major Cage (Cruise) dies, it’s a laugh. That’s because he figures out that he’s going through this nightmare for a reason. And there’s one soldier in it with him, the “Angel of Verdun” (Emily Blunt), who knows what he’s experiencing and knows if he makes a mistake, she can shoot him in the head as a way of hitting this battle’s reset button. Yeah, that’s funny after a bit.

Cage, an Army media relations officer, is a confirmed coward in the film’s opening scenes. The general in charge (Brendan Gleeson) has condemned Cage to embed with the first wave hitting the French beaches as the world’s armies converge on spider-like aliens called “Mimics.” So Cage wakes up every day to the sound of a sergeant bellowing “On your feet, MAGGOT.”

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