Friday, 6 June 2014

Film Review: "Edge of Tomorrow" (2014).

“What I am about to tell you sounds crazy. But you have to listen to me. Your very lives depend on it. You see, this isn't the first time.”
Which is what Edge of Tomorrow is all about. This science fiction film is directed by Doug Liman and is based on the Japanese light novel All You Need Is Kill by Hiroshi Sakurazaka. The film follows an officer who finds himself caught in a time loop in a war with an alien race. His skills increase as he faces the same brutal combat scenarios, and his union with a Special Forces warrior gets him closer and closer to defeating the enemy.

The novel, Ōru Yū Nīdo Izu Kiru (All You Need is Kill), is written by Sakurazaka with illustrations by Yoshitoshi ABe. The story is told from the perspective of Keiji Kiriya (William Cage in the film version), a new recruit in the United Defense Force which fights against the mysterious 'Mimics' which have laid siege to Earth. Keiji is killed on his first sortie, but through some inexplicable phenomenon wakes up having returned to the day before the battle. This continues and he finds himself caught in a time loop as his death and resurrection repeats time and time again. Keiji's skill as a soldier grows as he passes through each time loop in a desperate attempt to change his fate. The novel was Sakurazaka's breakthrough science-fiction novel, earning wide praise from fellow novelists including Yasutaka Tsutsui and Chōhei Kanbayashi and was entered in contention for the Seiun Awards, Japan's counterpart to the Nebula Award. The book was published in Japanese by Shueisha under their Super Dash Bunko imprint in December 2004, and was later released in English by Viz Media under their Haikasoru imprint. A manga adaptation, written by Ryōsuke Takeuchi and illustrated by Takeshi Obata, began serialization in Shueisha's Weekly Young Jump magazine in January 2014 and is also published by Viz Media in its Weekly Shonen Jump magazine. A graphic novel adaptation was released in North America in May 2014.

The film stars Tom Cruise, Emily Blunt, Bill Paxton and Brendan Gleeson. The performances in this film were all spectacular. Cruise and Blunt gave the best performances, especially when they were together, and were able to carry the film forward. The film also proves that Cruise was still more than capable of starring in an action film. Finally, I also loved the performances given by Gleeson and Paxton.

Edge of Tomorrow is an ingenious blend of Hollywood action cinema, innovative visual effects and an imaginative vision. If Doug Liman claims no originality of message, then he is a startling innovator of method and astonishing images. Liman's Japanese inspired plot manages to work surprisingly well on a number of levels: as a dystopian sci-fi action piece, as a brilliant excuse for the film's gritty and hyperkinetic action scenes, and as a pretty compelling call to the masses to unite and cast off their chains. However, the promising premise is steadily wasted as the film turns into a fairly routine action pic. But there’s an appealing scope and daring to the Liman's work, and his eagerness for more action and more crazy images becomes increasingly infectious.

Simon says Edge of Tomorrow receives:

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