All you need is kill!

In the weird system that is Hollywood they somehow always seem a bit too bent on filing off all rough edges and making their movies conformist to a mass market, and so weirdly enough that Japanese manga of above name turned into Edge of Tomorrow. As it turned out, much to the detriment of the movie’s marketing, as somehow it completely took the punch out of it. Obviously such a generic name could mean anything. Later they tried to rectify it with their “Live.Die.Repeat.” campaign, but alas, the damage was done. It’s a nice example how stupid studio execs can act. As a result, the box office receipts weren’t as good as they probably might have been, though at least the movie was profitable. The good thing is that as a side effect this also leads to prices dropping for home release and the Blu-Ray can be had at a budget which gave me an opportunity to finally get to see the film.

While I was intrigued by the premise of the story, the botched marketing didn’t bode well and I had reservations. As it turns out, they were unwarranted since there’s actually a better movie here than they would have you believe. On the other hand of course you see that some of its edginess had been sacrificed on the editing room floor. One thing I definitely didn’t like was the lack of exposition a the beginning. As an oldschool kind of person I like to have some background to better understand the motivations of the protagonists as well as the underlying reasons for why things are as they are. Perhaps it also irked me that the whole sequence chopped together from real existing news footage looked a bit too cheap and uninspired.

Once Tom Cruise‘s character Cage is dumped into the bootcamp it gets a lot more interesting. Clichéed and stereotypical, no doubt, but still at least a bit funny. The real treat comes once we’re thrown into battle, and based on my introductory chapter, I bet we could have seen some even more intense action. No doubt a lot more graphical stuff was left out in favor of mass market compliance. Either way, there are some good choreographies and gags, still and while it may not be Saving Private Ryan‘s beach landing scene, you feel like you are in the middle of it. Back then there was criticism about the repetitive narrative and editing to visualize the time resets, but eh, there’s only so many ways to skin a cat. In fact many episodes of the various Star Trek incarnations that deal with similar time loops are much more confusing and/or tedious. I think they solved it quite well and once you get the hang of it you understand the progression.

The aliens, called Mimics, are a bit off-the-shelf standard (though it must have been tricky to animate all those tentacles) and like most of those invasion movies/ series make absolutely no sense. Aside from that old “Why devastate a house you want to live in?” thing they’re not acting particularly smart and their only strength is their sheer mass numbers. I don’t know the underlying comic, but it would be fantastic if some day someone would come up with some really clever guys from outer space that have a strategy and genuine battle tactics. ;-) That’s a minor niggle, of course. Overall I found the whole movie quite entertaining and while the tension lessens once you know the resolution, it’s still worth re-watching every now and then…

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