Tom Cruise plays a callow, bumptious twerp in early scenes of the sci-fi adventure fantasy Edge of Tomorrow. He is very good: let’s be nice and call it a stretch. Sadly the cameo is brief and his character – a cowardly PR officer in the army, busted to the ranks to join a D-day-style French beach offensive to fight squishy, Europe-overrunning aliens – soon morphs into the Cruise we know. The overgrown boy scout, looking about 40 years younger than Cruise’s actual 51.
We are in futuristic London, on either side of the D-day scenes. An initially promising Groundhog Day plot empowers the hero to relive his death battle, on a recurring basis, and to teach poster-warrior Emily Blunt – the “Angel of Verdun” or “Full Metal Bitch” according to which poster you read – how to join him in finding the “Omega”. This is the main alien and may provide clues to Cruise’s outbreak of clairvoyance through cyclical existence. Or not. The film gets lost at about the hour mark with wild plotting and dialogue such as: “This transponder needs a live Alpha to make it work.” Recovery comes in the form of a lively, video game-ish Armageddon finale. The best stuff, thanks to Cruise in comic form, comes early.