Cruise proves he’s still in the game

Marlborough Midweek - - Front Page - NOW SHOW­ING BY MATT LAWREY

in­sa­tiable ap­petite for shiny new things, it’s un­likely that we will ever again see a star who wields the kind of clout Cruise has en­joyed for such a long pe­riod of time.

For all the un­flat­ter­ing head­lines and anx­i­ety about his re­li­gious be­liefs, Cruise has been pretty much the king of Hol­ly­wood since 1983’s Risky Busi­ness. That’s 31 years on the throne!

Af­ter the un­der­whelm­ing Jack Reacher, how­ever, some have been ar­gu­ing that Cruise’s crown has se­ri­ously slipped. Those people have yet to see Edge of To­mor­row.

Based on a Ja­panese novel with the in­fin­itely more in­ter­est­ing ti­tle


is the best film Cruise been in since 2004’ s

Co-star­ring the won­der­ful Emily Blunt, it’s an alien in­va­sion film with a time travel twist.

Ini­tially cast against type, Cruise stars as Ma­jor Wil­liam Cage, a for­mer star of the ad­ver­tis­ing world who uses his skills to make the mil­i­tary look good in its war against aliens called Mim­ics that oc­cupy most of Europe. Af­ter fall­ing out with the gen­eral in charge of Earth’s de­fences, Cage is stripped of his rank and forced to join the first wave of a D-Day style in­va­sion of France.

Cage is killed soon af­ter land­ing on the French coast but in­stead of go­ing to wher­ever good Scien­tol­o­gists go when they die, he trav­els back in time and wakes up back in Lon­don one day be­fore the in­va­sion.

is, for the most part, as smart as it is loud. Di­rec­tor Doug Li­man, who helmed the first Bourne movie, chore­ographs both the mayhem and the more thought­ful scenes with class, while the cast mem­bers ap­pear to rel­ish be­ing in an ac­tion film with a brain.

Blunt is per­fectly cast as Rita Vrataski, AKA the An­gel of Ver­dun for her hero­ics on the bat­tle­field. Mis­sion- fo­cused, emo­tion­ally bleached by the hor­ror of war and yet un­wa­ver­ing in her courage, Rita re­ally de­serves a movie or even a fran­chise all of her own.

Bill Pax­ton is also well cast as a mil­i­tary man with a mis­chievous look in his eye and a mem­o­rable turn of phrase.

Cruise mean­while throws him­self into the role with his usual trade­mark in­ten­sity. Cage is the ideal part for him to play at this stage of his ca­reer; he’s far from in­de­struc­tible but when push comes to shove, he steps up.

Cruise art­fully por­trays Cage’s grow­ing bit­ter­ness at this predica­ment and at the same time gets a chance to in­ject a sur­pris­ing amount of hu­mour. Much to my sur­prise, I found my­self and the rest of the au­di­ence laugh­ing out loud on sev­eral oc­ca­sions. As far as adrenalin rushes go,

is the film to beat this year. It’s also proof that re­ports of the death of Cruise’s ca­reer have been greatly ex­ag­ger­ated.

Bot­tom line: It kicks arse.

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