22 May 2014 2:00 PM, PDT | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Groundhog Day” and “Starship Troopers” make surprisingly compatible bedfellows in “Edge of Tomorrow,” a cleverly crafted and propulsively executed sci-fi thriller in which an untrained soldier must relive the same day over and over again — expiring violently each time — until he finds a way to defeat the alien marauders that have taken Earth hostage. That our ill-prepared hero is played by Tom Cruise lends a sly if perhaps unintended layer of subtext to this smarter-than-average star vehicle, insofar as the now 51-year-old actor seems to have embraced a similar trial-and-error career strategy: testing out one man-of-action persona after another in his ongoing (some would say undying) bid for bankability. Alas, B.O. success is likely to elude him this time out, as Warners’ June 6 release feels surprisingly low on buzz and audience awareness for an f/x-heavy picture with a $175 million pricetag. International returns will have to work extra-hard to make up the difference. »


- Justin Chang

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