Saturday, October 29, 2016

edge of tomorrow / live die repeat / all you need is kill


a little while, or if you like about 18 months ago, i read a novel called All You Need is Kill. it was actually more of a novella as we called short novels once, but it seems that the term "light novel" is used to describe such now, look you see.

should for some reason you wish to read my review of that novel you may well do so simply by clicking here, as it were. this post is, however, more concerned with the film adaptation of it. with reports of a "sequel that might be a prequel" due for this adaptation, my (considerably) better half and i elected to watch it, at last, last night.

indeed that is the DVD cover for the film, not that you can see the title (we shall get to that) in the glory and majesty of VIC 20 mode. well, i have that option open to me for images now, so i figure why not.

plot? as you would expect, Edge Of Tomorrow, for that is the name of the film adaptation of All You Need Is Kill, deviates some from the book mostly as a result of, try as he might, Tom Cruise not being able to convincingly play a Japanese teenager.

anyway, Cruise plays Major Cage, basically a PR expert for the military who has inspired many millions to sign up for the global battle against alien invaders. he ends up railroaded into actual service, and is dropped in to the middle of a huge (very impressively made) battle. a battle in which he dies fairly quickly. and then he wakes up and lives the same sequence again.......

Cage works out that he is stuck in a time loop, then, with the day resetting when he dies. in order to break the loop he must work out why it's happening and how to defeat the alien invaders. to do both he must find and work with Rita Vrataski (Emily Blunt), a "super soldier" who has, up to now, been the only one to have defeated these aliens in battle.

a quick, spoiler free summary would be that if the film sounds like it is "Groundhog Day but with guns, violence and aliens", it is. it's also as superb, entertaining, occasionally funny and overall as excellent as that film. and so anything after this point might have spoilers in it, so you've been warned.

a look at the cover above gives every indication as to why this film was not, although successful, a huge hit. never have i seen such poor marketing. actually good marketing gone bad. quite a few people, and they are not at fault, think that the film is in fact called Live Die Repeat, since the advertising slogan seems to dominate the artwork more than the actual Edge Of Tomorrow title. most confusing when you are looking to purchase a copy in a shop.

the film seems to have been a success if not a box office smash. the available financial figures all say that it made double what it cost to make, which is quite an achievement. the whole "time loop" concept can be somewhat brain taxing, so i suppose there was never much intention or hope of it being a huge hit along the lines of simpler, more linear science fiction films. it should, however, i feel be a film that is seen by a wider audience than it perhaps has thus far.

in terms of time loop films, this one "gets it right" like Groundhog Day did and so many other ones did not. with regards to a fail, i recently watched that ARQ on the Net Flix thing. the danger of time loop films is losing your audience by having them watch the same thing again and again, but with just slight variations. ARQ gets boring after 40 minutes; Edge Of Tomorrow most decidedly does not.

other than the gaudy artwork with the hidden title, a curious decision made with marketing this film was to leave Bill Paxton out of the promotion. i had no idea he was in it until he turned up, and turned up in a prominent, non-hidden and not cameo role. Bill "game over, man" Paxton is a huge fan favourite; it makes no sense not to have shown off the fact that he was in it.

Tom Cruise? to borrow a way of describing him from an American, Cruise "always brings his A game" to every film he is in. this one is no exception. his performance is superb, both in respect of the physical demands of the part and the psychology of it. he is a character who, after all, gets to know, understand and form relationships with a whole lot of people - people who will have no idea of who he is when they next see him. and, in acting as a foil to this, Emily Blunt it outstanding.

and there you have it. if for some reason you've been interested in Edge Of Tomorrow but just "haven't gotten around" to watching it as such as yet, then go for it. it's brilliant.

be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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