This film is high adrenaline cocktail of elements from Starship Troopers, Groundhog Day and Saving Private Ryan with a dash of The Matrix Revolutions towards the end. I really enjoyed it.
It is as far-fetched as it comes but with a logic that in hindsight was missing from Interstellar. There is also no small amount of humour as we watch Tom Cruise’s character Cage develop from zero to hero as he is forced to Live, Die, Repeat. This strap line was so strong on the packaging that Siggy refuses to call the film The Edge of Tomorrow preferring Live, Die, Repeat.
The small cast of good but relative unknown actors helps the suspension of disbelief – e.g. the paperboy from Spaced. Among the recognisable faces, Emily Blunt plays Rita who has experienced the same ‘power’ as Cage before having it literally drained out of her. She is an experienced alien killer and is Cage’s sidekick and love interest for most for the film. The aliens, inexplicably called ‘Mimics’ (perhaps lost in translation from the source material – a book by Hiroshi Sakurazaka called ‘All You Need is Kill’), are brilliant CG creations that are scarily animated with pulsing blink-quick tentacles and are properly, scarily, jarringly alien to the eye.
There’s only two bits of the film I don’t like; one is an action shot where Cage defies the laws of physics in his military exoskeleton (which by the way kicks the ass of Matt Damon’s suit in Elysium) and is obviously on a digitally removed wire and he skids almost horizontally on sand and then pops up into a standing position without the use of his arms to propel his upper body vertical; the other is Rita’s bizarre moment(o?) of short-term memory loss as she forgets to unhitch the caravan from a car they use as a getaway vehicle even though Cage has told her quite clearly to unhook the caravan a minute or so previously.
But that’s me being frightfully finicky. All in all it is a great sci-fi action film and so much better than Oblivion. The director, Doug Liman best known for the Bourne films has done a brilliant job and the editing is so well done that rather than get bored with the ‘Repeat’ bit of the circularity you actually revel in it.
I initially thought that the ending was disappointingly ‘Hollywood’ and didn’t really make sense, but on second viewing I actually do think it can be explained and is acceptable. I’d love to provide the explanation and also delve into the details of why I roll called Starship Troopers, Groundhog Day, Saving Private Ryan and The Matrix Revolutions but to do so would be to provide spoilers. Watch the film it’s all pretty obvious and you’ll have great fun!