It’s been quite some time now that Tom Cruise’s new flick ‘Edge Of Tomorrow‘ has been doing the rounds on YouTube , but I never really cared about checking it out. Edge of Tomorrow seemed like another movie right out of the pages of a sci-fi novel, and yes there were aliens galore.
Two days back I clicked the link to the official trailer mostly out of boredom. As the browser loaded, I expected the usual rattle of blazing guns, pep talks, a female subject and aliens galore.
The trailer changed my perspective, although very minutely yet by a margin large enough to do some background research.
Edge of Tomorrow has been directed by Doug Liman of The Bourne Identity and Mr. & Mrs. Smith fame. The star cast includes Emily Blunt and Bill Paxton, besides Tom Cruise.
My research led me to an interesting find. Edge of Tomorrow has been inspired by Hiroshi Sakurazaka’s light novel All You Need Is Kill. The script adaptation had been done by Dante W. Harper.
Clicking on one link after the next I ended up with a 200 page e-book.
The novel depicts the story of Keiji Kiriya, a new recruit in the United Defence Forces (UDF) in Japan with just half a year of training behind him. He along with his fellow recruits will have to fight aliens called ‘Mimics’ who have invaded earth and feed on soil. But excrete a waste highly toxic to Earth’s habitants and leave destruction and inhabitable deserts behind them. The main weapon of the UDF soldiers are Jackets, mechanical suits that enhance physical movements and house weaponry to kill the Mimics.
But Keiji is caught in a time loop; every time he gets killed, he wakes up with memories of his last battle against the Mimics and he must improve his skills to prolong his life a few more minutes or even seconds. He dies numerous times only to wake up the next time to realize that the battle is yet to happen and that he is one more step closer to the enemy.
The female perspective in the battalion comes in the form of Rita Vrataski, a seasoned soldier in the US Special Forces. She out skills and out-kills every Jacketed soldier. In a turn of events, Keiji and Rita fight side by side to kill the mimics and every time Keiji gets killed in action, he returns back stronger with a better knowledge of Rita’s style and complements her moves and weak points.
Without any more spoilers I will come back to the movie. It is a well known fact that characters and story lines are often tweaked while scripting. Tom Cruise is not Japanese and he is definitely not a young recruit fresh out of diploma school. Instead he is Lt. Col. William ‘Bill’ Cage and has never seen a day of combat before he is dropped unceremoniously in the midst of the battle.
The time loop, a vital part of the story line is kept intact like in the novel and Cruise’s guts spill over and over; fight, die, repeat.
The film’s official tag line is Live, Die, Repeat but I prefer to use fight instead of live as in the main story after a few relapses, Keiji barely ‘lives’ his life anymore. In text, Sakurazaka describes Keiji’s time reruns as more of a fight to get better at killing mimics; at times often a futile attempt at staying alive.
All You Need Is Kill is an engaging sci-fi novel and it kept me hooked. It caught on and never left the grip. Pacy by all means, Sakurazaka doesn’t bore us in the scenes where Keiji relieves the same days over and over.
We have all seen in time travel movies how a change in action in the past creates an entirely new timeline in the future and that is what has been mastered in the novel. Sakurazaka tweaks little things in the past such that the present and the future both change, although Keiji’s death is inevitable.
All You Need Is Kill uses the time to develop its characters. Keiji and Rita has been given a much wider dimension and that is the real engaging point of the novel. Will Liman be able to justify the novel? Has the script been able to implement minute details that brings out the characters in Cruise and Rita?
From the trailer, I have felt a vulnerability being expressed through Cruise’s expressions. The panic attack when you are dropped unceremoniously in the middle of a war, the resulting adrenaline and the sense of déjà vu that come from dying numerous times piercing through the star’s eyes.
The knowledge , that to get out of the loop, Cruise’s character(Cage) has to end the battle without getting killed is a thrilling prospect in its own right.
Then as the trailer progress, there is progressive change in Cruises’s character, the sense of control, the confidence and the desire to kill and not get killed.
Rita Vrataski’s character, Emily Blunt fits in well. Red headed and of average height, Rita Vrataski is a character that Blunt can justify well.
Emily Blunt’s character has been kept mostly hidden as Rita is a crucial character and it still remains to be seen if the movie stays true to the basic storyline. “Come find me when you wake up” seems to be a fitting line for the more experienced Rita to say to Cage(Keiji).
And on that note I do wish to find out how much the Edge of Tomorrow strays away from the original script of All You Need Is Kill. A movie with Tom Cruise in it has minimal chances of failing in the box office but I don’t expect it to be a great adaptation.
What I do expect from this movie are awesome fight sequences, special effects, riveting background score and lots and lots of aliens. Isn’t that what invasion movies are all about?!
If the character development and chemistry is half as good as the novel, the movie will be great as well. I believe this movie will be value for money, but don’t expect it to entertain you as much as the Iron Man movies.
Edge Of Tomorrow will be initially releasing on March 5th in Belgium while a worldwide release is expected later on June 6th. The film will release in 3D and IMAX 3D.