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Review: Edge of Tomorrow

It's billed as a 'blockbuster with brains' but Tom Cruise's latest star vehicle, sci-fi thriller Edge of Tomorrow, advertises the extent to which such claims are relative.

This Doug Liman (The Bourne Identity) directed feature is a cut above the usual in terms of cerebral content, but it's still difficult to imagine it appearing on Mensa must-see lists any day soon.

A frenetic opening reveals a futuristic global backdrop where the end has never been more nigh. An alien invasion in the shape of legions of metallic octopus-like monstrosities has united the world's armies, but it's still the mother of all mismatches.

Enter Tom Cruise as Major William Cage, the reluctant hero destined to go toe-to-tentacle with these agents of the apocalypse, but initial contact with his inner action hero is tentative to the point of being non-existent. He's basically a coward but an audience with General Brigham (Brendan Gleeson) results in him being catapulted into a spectacular Normandy-landing type scenario.

Though dead in minutes due to his epic ineptitude, a twist results in him reliving the same scenario until he gradually becomes more gladiatorial. A chance meeting on the battlefield with robo-babe Rita Vratask (Emily Blunt) helps him fill in the blanks. Confused? You won't be. The plot may sound impenetrable but deft exposition facilitates it being revealed in a manner that ensures repetition isn't the issue it could have been.

Big budget production values combined with impressive performances ensure that action adventure aficionados are unlikely to feel short-changed. It's decent popcorn fare then but while the futuristic backdrop and 3D special effects may indeed take you to the edge of tomorrow – alas, the edge of your seat is more of a stretch.

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