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Edge of Tomorrow/Rated PG-13 for scary monsters and violent death.

EOT is a sci-fi thriller about time travel and monsters that cost $178 to make. But if you’ve seen the original Starship Troopers (1997), you’ll feel like you’ve been here before.

The monsters appear to be close relatives. The movie’s plot also recalls Battle Los Angeles (2011), except that this time the action takes place in continental Europe. The sets also look familiar because most of EOT was shot in England, on the former Harry Potter sets. Added to the mix are plot themes from Groundhog Day (1993) and 50 First Dates (2004). Put it all in a blender and voila!, Edge of Tomorrow.

EOT opened on the 70th anniversary of D-Day. This is apropos because the movie recreates that invasion with some updates. The special effects are spectacular and the battle scenes are extraordinary – it seems like the $178 million was well spent.

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Playing Major William Cage is Tom Cruise, who will be 52 this July and is still looking and playing parts 20 years younger. I don’t know if I’ll live long enough to see him age. Emily Blunt plays a special forces Sgt. Rita Vrataski, who has great fighting and leadership abilities. Bill Paxton plays the gruff Sergeant.

The story revolves around and around – literally – an invasion of the Earth by a asteroid riding group of bad guys, the Mimics. These bad guys are fast, sneaky and fatal. They land all over Europe and take over quickly. They seem to be able to rip apart any and everything that gets in their path. The French are first to surrender and toast the victors with Bordeaux.

Although he has no combat experience, TC ends up in the invasion and gets killed within minutes. Not to worry. Each time he dies he wakes up and gets to do the day all over again, because Mimic blood that spilled on him during the battle gives him the power to resurrect after dying. Every time he dies and comes back to life, he gets smarter about fighting the Mimics. Along the way he meets the sweet, but tough, EB. With her help, he slowly puts together the puzzle of how to beat the aliens – recalling innumerable 1950s sci-fi movies – and win the day.

That is, as long as he lives and relives long enough.

Despite the “pete and repeat” plot, the film is enjoyable, fast paced, and has loads of surprises. Since the effects are outstanding – definitely a movie to see in 3D – sit back and enjoy the ride. Over and over. With everybody trying to save money these days, the question is: can TC save us all?

Rated 3.5 out of 4.0 reasons to run and keep running, but not from Edge of Tomorrow.

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