Sci-fi adventure EDGE OF TOMORROW(12: Warner) looks every inch your bog standard gung-ho alien invasion blockbuster.
Starring Tom Cruise, playing against type, it makes a hardware trolley-dash through films like Starship Troopers and Pacific Rim.
But it also has a secret weapon – a time-loop device.
Inexperienced military officer Major William Cage (Cruise) is a cowardly global PR for the Allies who’s sadistically sent to the front line in a war against an alien invasion.
Instantly killed during a terrifying D Day-style beach landing, he is transported back in time to relive his last 24 hours.
As he experiences the same battle over and over again, rather like an apocalyptic Groundhog Day, it allows him to train to become the ultimate warrior, second-guess the aliens and get to know a special forces poster girl (Emily Blunt). While the action builds to an anticlimax, at least there’s some wit amid all the banging and crashing.
> Naughty fun is on offer in THE OTHER WOMAN (12: Twentieth Century Fox), a comedy pitched squarely at the fizzy-wine brigade.
A serial dater (Cameron Diaz) finally falls for a man (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau), but is devastated when she finds out he’s married. His wife (Leslie Mann) visits her, they start up a friendship and discover that he’s cheating on both of them with yet another woman (Kate Upton).
The trio decide to get revenge and after researching his work, they establish that he’s stealing from his partners. A plan is put in motion to bring the love rat to his knees.
Diaz takes top billing and forms a bubbly double act with Mann, generously allowing her to shine in a slapstick turn that finds her character swinging between grief and rage. On the downside, director Nick Cassavetes (The Notebook, My Sister’s Keeper) drags out the action and overcooks the finale.
> Biopic GRACE OF MONACO (PG: Warner) is a hopelessly flawed portrait of Hollywood legend Grace Kelly.
Nicole Kidman tries hard to hold things together, but she’s two decades too old to play Grace in the early days of her marriage to Prince Rainier III (Tim Roth).
She looks stiff as a designer clothes horse and fails to convey the youthful naivety that gets Grace into trouble as she struggles to adapt to her new, formal surroundings.
Director Olivier Dahan misses the finer points of the political crisis unfolding in the background as the French government seeks to put an end to the principality’s status as a tax haven.
Dahan pushes the theory that Grace smoothed things over with her hostess skills, while Alfred Hitchcock (Roger Ashton-Griffiths) tries to lure her away with a script for Marnie. The director tries to inject some urgency into proceedings, especially at the culminating banquet, but it’s about as exciting as a soggy cucumber sandwich.
> A four-year-old boy undergoing life-saving surgery briefly dies on the operating table, but is revived in HEAVEN IS FOR REAL (PG: Sony), featuring Greg Kinnear, Kelly Reilly and Thomas Haden Church. When he wakes up, he claims he visited Heaven and his story becomes unusually specific, involving things he could not possibly know.
Sold as a true story, the sermon may be difficult to swallow for many, with a tendency for the saccharine that’s hard to ignore, yet it’s a polished piece of preaching.