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26 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Alien groundhog day
This is a science fiction/war/action movie which is a reasonably faithful adaptation of the novel All You Need Is Kill albeit it with name changes.

It's a complete and self contained film and not the start of any series of trilogy.

The film starts with a quick expositional montage, showing the start of an alien invasion of Earth, and the fighting...
Published 9 months ago by Paul Tapner

3.0 out of 5 stars THEY SHOULD HAVE TRIED AGAIN!
I bought this having seen all the publicity when it was released at the cinema but not having seen the film before. Everone was saying how good it was. Personally, I have to admit to being rather underwhelmed. I won't bother going into the plot again, you can read the other reviews here for that, but what I will say is that, as you have perhaps already figured out for...
Published 5 months ago by Glen

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26 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Alien groundhog day, 19 Oct. 2014
Paul Tapner (poole dorset england) - See all my reviews
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This is a science fiction/war/action movie which is a reasonably faithful adaptation of the novel All You Need Is Kill albeit it with name changes.

It's a complete and self contained film and not the start of any series of trilogy.

The film starts with a quick expositional montage, showing the start of an alien invasion of Earth, and the fighting that followed.

Then we meet Major William Cage [Tom Cruise]. On the eve of a major human offensive on alien occupied territory, he's been doing great PR work highlighting the efforts of soldiers who use hi-tech battlesuits, in particular tough lady warrior Rita Vrataski [Emily Blunt].

Cage isn't keen on the prospect of joining the fighting. But he finds himself forced into it. And promptly dies in his first battle.

Only to reborn, right back at the moment when he found himself forced to fight.

Stuck in a time loop, dying again and again, desperate to find out why, his only hope might lie with Rita. And the only hope for the future of the Planet Earth might lie with both of them....

Yes, it's groundhog day. With aliens. But beyond that one similarity, this film has more than enough individual touches to make it worth the five star rating.

A very good performance from Tom Cruise. Who convincingly portrays a man who grows and changes as a result of all he experiences.

A very good performance from Emily Blunt, convincing as a tough lady soldier.

The acting plaudits don't stop there. Bill Paxton threatens to steal the show as a tough and sardonic Sergeant. The actors playing the rest of his squad don't get much screen time by comparison to the major players, but they do enough to make their characters fully rounded and make you want to see more of them.

The directing is superb, with the early invasion sequences and the resulting battle being visually stunning.

There's an excellent amount of very good humour.

And the plot has enough twists and turns to keep moving things on to the next level when required, and to keep surprising the viewer as well.

Plus it Has some excellent location work in London.

This is an entertaining blockbuster. It's a hugely entertaining movie experience, and it's well worth five stars.

The disc has the following language and subtitle options:

Languages: English, Castilian Spanish, Hindu.

Subtitles: English, Castilian Spanish, Danish, Finnish, Icelandic, Norwegian, Swedish.

It begins with no trailers at all, jumping straight to the main menu when loaded up.


Just two featurettes.

Weapons of the future: All about the armour and the weaponry of the movie. This runs for eight minutes.
Creatures not of this world: All about the aliens and how they were brought to life. This runs for five minutes.

The former is very good and worth a watch. Although epileptics beware a sequence of flashing images during it.
The latter is quite good but a bit too short to make an impression.
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49 of 55 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Groundhog Day" meets "War of the Worlds", 26 Oct. 2014
Marshall Lord (Whitehaven, UK) - See all my reviews
"Edge of Tomorrow" is a Westernised but otherwise reasonably faithful version of Hiroshi Sakurazaka's novel "All You Need Is Kill" and it is one of the cleverest SF films I have seen for a while.

This review is based on watching the film at home twice on DVD - and it is one of those films where you pick up things on the second watching which you miss first time round.

Anyone who has heard of this film will almost certainly already be aware that it involves a battle against apparently unstoppable alien invaders, and that the characters played by Tom Cruise (Major Bill Cage) and Emily Blunt (Sergeant Rita Vrataski) keep getting killed, but are caught in a time loop.

Each time Cage is killed he gets sent back to the start, but remembers what happened before, so he has the opportunity to learn how to fight more effectively and try to find new ways to defeat the alien invaders. Hence the slogan on the DVD box, "Live, Die, Repeat" which is also, as in this listing, sometimes incorporated into the title.

At the start of the film, Cage is not a very admirable character - though he holds the rank of Major he has never been near a battlefield and is basically a Spin Doctor in uniform.

(This is the main difference between the film and the book, in which the alien invasion had taken place in the Far East and the central character of the book was a Japanese raw recruit. In the film the aliens have invaded and largely conquered the European mainland. The Americans are heavily involved in the war in both the book and film, and the character of Rita is an American in the book.

Humanity has been taking a serious beating in the war against the invaders. One of Cage's achievements has been to publicise mankind's one victory, at Verdun, so as to persuade potential recruits to sign up. As part of that campaign the most effective soldier from that battle, Special Forces Sergeant Rita Vrataski, was depicted as the "Angel of Verdun" (although her fellow soldiers have an earthier nickname for her.) Cage was not expecting ever to find himself on a battlefield with Rita.

But for reasons we will not go into to avoid a spoiler, Cage does find himself in battle, where at first he is very ineffective. He is astonished when after the first time he is killed he wakes up again the previous morning. And whatever he tries to do, he keeps getting killed and waking up again at the same point the morning before the battle. Usually when he is killed he learns something from the events which caused his death and sometimes he can use that knowledge to avoid repeating a mistake or being where something nasty lands, thus living a little longer.

Then on the battlefield Cage meets Rita, who notices his ability to predict where shells, flying debris, and aliens will come from, and she tells him "Come find me when you wake up." When he does, she is almost the only person who believes any of his story, and she trains him to learn how to defeat the alien invaders. (By the way, this paragraph is not a spoiler as "LIVE - DIE - REPEAT" is plastered in two inch high letters on the DVD case and both the line I've quoted and the information that Rita trains Cage are in the trailer.)

One particularly challenging aspect for the film to show, which was generally well acted and presented, is the way Tom Cruise's character who can remember each successive iteration of the day they are living through, grows and develops through the film, while Emily Blunt's character does not retain the memories and is exactly the same at the start of each new iteration of the same day. I won't go through all the implications to avoid spoilers but the film explores several of them.

Another aspect where it must have been incredibly difficult to get the balance right, but which IMHO the film does brilliantly, is to show just enough of each repeated iteration that the viewer understands what is going on, without going through so much of each repeated day as to bore the viewer to death.

There are a fair number of plot holes and impossibilities in the film, but my experience was that quality of the acting and the well-paced and exciting story meant that I din't notice them until stopping to think about it after watching the DVD.

Special effects are very effective, from the alien monsters to the "exoskeleton" like combat suits which the human soldiers wear. But many of the stunts were real - Emily Blunt said on television that she "nearly killed Tom Cruise for real" while filming one of the action scenes.

This DVD has a reasonable number of extras, mostly about the creation of the film.

The film made me want to read the original book (see link above) which I can also recommend.

If you love pulling things to pieces and watch this determined to find something wrong, you will find things to criticise, but most people who like action films will enjoy "Edge of Tomorrow."
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Groundhog Day meets Starship Troopers and Saving Private Ryan, 28 Jun. 2015
Bill (England) - See all my reviews
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This is a top notch sci-fi actioner, which plays out like a fusion of Groundhog Day, Saving Private Ryan and Starship Troopers.
Tom Cruise plays Major William Gage, a fifty-something U.S. Army officer who has a desk bound job and no combat experience. He'd very much like to keep it that way. Earth is under attack from a hostile, predatory alien race called the Mimics, who have taken control of much of Europe and are now in the process of invading England (not too difficult to figure out what sparked that concept). The Mimics look like a mechanised hybrid of an octopus and a spider, not too dissimilar to the alien insects seen in Starship Troopers.
Earth's militaries have formed a coalition named the UDF (United Defence Force), to try to fend off the alien enemy. The paper-shuffling Major Gage soon finds himself press-ganged into armed combat on the frontline at a key battlefield on a beach in France. The Mimics have the power to control and repeat time, and Major Gage ends up in a Groundhog Day/Saving Private Ryan type situation, where he finds himself repeating the conflict on the beach and between the sand dunes, dying and then re-living the experience over and over again, as he tries to learn how to outsmart and defeat the remorseless alien foe.
Major Gage teams up with Rita Vratanski, played by Emily Blunt, who's a highly skilled and fearless warrior. As the couple learn from their fatal mistakes on the battlefront, they very slowly but surely keep getting closer to tracking down and destroying the queen alien...
This is a highly entertaining and extremely well executed sci-fi actioner. Tom Cruise provides his usual assured and likeable performance as the film's reluctant anti-hero, a character who becomes a better man as dramatic events unfold around him. Emily Blunt is excellent in the lead support role, she has very good screen chemistry with Tom and her warrior is a credibly clinical and ruthless soldier, far more believable than if she'd made her character shouty and gung ho (something which I suspect an actress like Michelle Rodriguez might have done).
The CGI is flawless, and although there's lots of it, it doesn't overawe the plot and characterisation.
All in all, this a very fast-paced sci-fi thrill ride, with stunning visuals, a dramatic film score, and engaging performances from the two lead actors and supporting cast. I'm not sure that I liked this movie quite as much as the wonderful The War Of The Worlds, but it comes pretty damned close.
Highly recommended.
Thank you very much for taking the time to read this review.
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57 of 67 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A well-structured and fast moving roller coaster ride!, 9 July 2014
Since 2002's The Bourne Identity, Doug Liman has established himself as a fairly competent action director, however poor scripts and production problems have often mired the quality of his blockbuster films. The aforementioned Bourne film was wrought with production issues, though ultimately salvaged by extensive reshoots, while Mr and Mrs Smith crumbled under the weight of its own star-power. And though Jumper featured some promising but pulpy sci-fi ideas, it unfortunately took them nowhere with a typically underwhelming David Goyer script (ie. piss poor dialogue and characters).

Liman's blockbuster films may pop on screen but they merely fizzle away on the page and from the outset the unfortunately titled Edge of Tomorrow (sounding more like an American soap opera than a sci-fi war film) looked typical of the director's oeuvre. The explosive Saving Private Ryan meets The Matrix aesthetic of the trailer engaged, while the already-done sci-fi take on Groundhog Day set up hung over the film like a damp rag. But with Edge of Tomorrow Liman has delivered where so many have failed, by bringing smart filmmaking to a simple story and refusing to neglect a sense of fun.

Based on the novel `All You Need is Kill' by Hiroshi Sakurazaka, Edge of Tomorrow begins amidst a world at war against a race of alien creatures that have overtaken Europe. They're known as `mimics' due to their ability to predict their opponents every move. Refreshingly Liman avoids covering the initial invasion almost entirely, introducing us to the situation through use of interviews and news footage. We're informed that humanity has begun to fight back and win in their war against these tentacled mechanical monsters. This is thanks in no small part to seasoned warriors such as Emily Blunt's Rita (or `Full Metal Bitch' as the propaganda posters call her) who has tallied more confirmed kills than any other soldier. During this montage Liman introduces Tom Cruise's Cage as the media face of the military, who is seen beckoning young Americans to war with the promise (and grandeur) of a sure victory. Before the title sequence is over the players and world has been effectively set up. It's efficient, to the point and allows for cutting straight to the meat and potatoes of the story.

After the attempted blackmail of a senior officer, Cage's cowardice lands him in trouble and with a first class ticket to the front-line. Out of his depth on a battlefield that is increasingly looking like a well-planned trap and surrounded by hardened grunts that are counting down the remaining the seconds of his life, Cage stumbles from one action-beat to the next until meeting his inevitable demise. But by a twist of fate Cage is forced to relive the day over and over again, meeting his end in a whole manner of violent, shocking and often funny ways. That is until he meets Emily Blunt's Rita, who holds information that may help Cage both break the cycle and end the war for good.

Unlike Duncan Jone's Source Code (that other Groundhog-Day science fiction picture) there is no thriller style mystery to unravel in Liman's film. Starting from a similar platform, Edge of Tomorrow instead takes inspiration from Paul Verhoeven's Starship Trooper and James Cameron's Aliens, both in story and character (and not to mention an actor in Bill Paxton). Much like with those sci-fi classics, the marines here are all action and little thought military clichés, running gung-ho to their own slaughter at the hands of an enemy they've vastly underestimated. But whereas Starship Troopers has the dumb but strong Rico and Aliens' the overlooked but brave Ellen Ripley at their centres, Edge of Tomorrow's Cage is the coward who'd rather sit this one out, forced into action only when the inescapability of his situation becomes starkly apparent.

It is easy to hate such a yellow-bellied individual as Cage, and the film practically asks us to early on. He's cowardly, uncaring and knowingly admits to sending thousands of young soldiers to their deaths through his own propaganda tactics. By making him dislikeable, his many demises become an effective focus for comedy. But Cruise imbues Cage with just enough charm that one finds them self endeared to him as he grows. It helps that he has the always-dependable Blunt to bounce off in many of his scenes, providing the film with a couple of fleeting but decent emotional beats. Blunt's Rita is the core of the film; she gets the best lines, the best action and is easily the most likeable character on display. Her performance in Edge of Tomorrow had me asking the question, when will Emily Blunt become the blockbuster star she's been threatening to for years?

Despite a few ham-handed scenes of exposition, Edge of Tomorrow succeeds because Liman and his writing team (Christopher McQuarrie and Jez & John-Henry Butterworth) have focused their efforts on telling a simple story in the most engaging way possible, centring on timing and structure to deliver effective action, comedy and character beats. There's a great deal of knowing restraint on display from Liman, allowing for the same battlefield to feel fresh an hour in to the film despite us having witnessed the action a countless number of times. But for their attention to structure, Edge of Tomorrow's greatest attribute is instead its playful tone. In another filmmakers hands it would have been a grim-dark slog through murky battlefields with tortured souls as our guide. Instead it's a well-structured and fast moving roller coaster ride replete with action thrills and more than a few hearty laughs.
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22 of 26 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Get up, Maggot!!!!, 28 Oct. 2014
An alien race has hit the Earth and has destroyed most of Europe. It appears that they are unbeatable by any military unit in the world.

Major William Cage is an officer who has never seen a day of combat when he is unceremoniously dropped into what appears to be a suicide mission. Killed within minutes, Cage now finds himself thrown into a time loop, forcing him to live out the same brutal combat over and over, fighting and dying again.

But with each battle, Cage becomes able to attack the aliens with increasing skill, alongside Rita Vrataski.

And, as Cage and Vrataski take the fight to the aliens, each repeated encounter gets them one step closer to defeating the enemy, and closer to each other.....

After seeing this movie, its easy to see why this failed to set the box offence alight. It's not based on a popular comic book hero, it's not part of a franchise, it's not a young adult book, and its source material is highly original and pretty complex, so it's not your usual summer fare.

But blimey, its so refreshing to see something so original, so funny, and so involving have such a prolific release and treated with the respect it needs, and also respecting the audience.

Cruise hasn't been this good in years, here he's not playing the typical hero he has done forever, in fact, until the middle of the second act, he's a bit of a wimp who tries to talk his way out of everything.

But then we go back to the point where he wakes up, and for a good 30 minutes, it's hilarious, laugh out loud funny at times, and Cages frustration very time he knows he's going to buy it, is just priceless.

The second act is the strongest part of the film, and even though it does feel like its riffing on Groundhog Day, and Source Code,mother way its handles is very different and intricate to the narrative.

Blunt is okay, but her hard woman does grate toward the end of the film, and Cruises grin in the last shot is priceless, as if he's thinking 'just one more time'.

Its a brilliant movie, worth watching more than once, my only gripe is that Cage didn't smack the soldier who kept waking him up.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What do we do now? I don’t know. We’ve never gotten this far., 25 Jan. 2015
Willy Eckerslike (France) - See all my reviews
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There’s nothing new in the central premise of this superb movie; science fiction has been messing about with time loops for decades. It’s been the stock-in-trade for some of the best Star Trek episodes, there have been some excellent recent films such as Memento & Source Code and Greg Bear’s splendid ‘Hull Zero Three’ gives the live, die, repeat theme an original twist. So, what makes this big budget 175 million dollar blockbuster stand out from the crowd? Lots of things, that’s what.

Firstly, this is the first sci-fi film I can think of where Tom Cruise isn’t an indomitable action hero from the first scene; here he’s an Army PR man (looking alarmingly like Pierce Brosnan) doing all he can to wheedle out of his surprise assignment to the imminent conflict zone. This refreshing lightly comedic, self deprecating tone is a consistent presence throughout the film.

Secondly, the treatment of the core concept; the countless iterations of the loop as Cruise and Blunt progress incrementally towards their goal are not presented in the ‘Oh no! Not again’ groundhog repetition format. The viewer is instead presented only with the changes to previous loops, keeping the dialogue and action fresh and, above all, engaging.

This segues nicely to the next point. Doug Liman’s direction is superb; the pace and tension are deftly managed from beginning to heart-thumping finale, just what you’d expect from the man responsible for the first three (and best) Bourne films. Finally, no review of a modern sci-fi motion picture would be complete without a passing mention of the special effects. They are superb, from the battle suit design, through the Private Ryan’esque beachhead sequences to the incredible alien masses of tentacles. I’m not quite sure why the aliens are called Mimics though; they never seem to do any, but perhaps it’s a plot device to keep the audience guessing about the nature of the main protagonists.

To summarise, this is an absolutely splendid movie and one we’ll definitely re-watch many times.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Sci-fi time-loop concept delivered in a funny and refreshing way, 23 July 2015
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I might be wrong but I don't remember too many films that use the caught in a time-loop plot device, the obvious one springing to mind being Groundhog day. I suppose that may be because it's such a distinctive concept that too many of films of this kind would wear thin pretty quickly.
I think, partly because of this reason, it makes for an enjoyable film because it's still a relatively fresh and interesting predicament to place a character in, and one rich in comedy, but also drama, and this film mines both in an entertaining way.
The initial scenes at the basecamp feel a bit naff, with some over the top masculine dialogue and posturing (think the grunts in Aliens - Bill Paxton also gets, probably a knowing, outing here) but it becomes apparent that this is deliberate, so they can make use of the scenes again as Cruise re-lives them and starts to react to them in different and more knowing ways.
Unlike Bill Murray, Tom Cruise's character is in a time loop that resets whenever he is killed, rather than at the end of a set time period. It turns out that this isn't a particularly difficult feat to achieve in the apocalyptic sci-fi future the film is set, with the earth under attack from strange, super-evolved planet killing aliens that seem to operate in an intelligent interconnected network. The repetition takes the drama out of Cruise's deaths and they become comic and entertainingly scripted and acted. There are a few laugh out loud moments and people who don't like Cruise may well enjoy them even more. Personally, I think he's a good actor, and he's game for making fun of himself and playing a less than heroic character, as he does here.
The humour doesn't get in the way of the drama though, and I got a sense of how horrific having to repeatedly go into a certain death situation would be, with the unwelcome bonus of all those memories of the experience. Along with this, the most interesting theme is one of the pathos of getting to know and care for a person more and more, while they can only ever know you for a brief time. Each time you come back, they will be meeting you for the first time, and if you had to lose that person repeatedly, how heart-wrenching it would be.
It's primarily an action film though, and the action is handled well, although it's hard to see what's going on in the beach scenes. Cruise's training is the most entertaining of the action and the weaponised suits are well realised. The sci-fi exposition is pretty thin and ridiculous but it doesn't matter because the other elements are well handled.
Emily Blunt is solid as always, and it's always refreshing to have a heroic female character, although I'm not sure she quite pulls off the physical side.
Check it out, pretty sure you'll be entertained.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Repeatedly entertaining, 17 Dec. 2014
Richard Morton (Bristol, England) - See all my reviews
I enjoyed this slice of big budget sci-fi action - it boasts plenty of alien bashing carnage, star power and a fair bit of wit and invention.

The original set up is pretty much Groundhog Day on an alien battlefield. A brief montage introduces us to the "mimics", an alien race currently taking over the Earth. It also gives us the first look at Tom Cruises slimy media relations expert from the US army. Before he knows what's hit him poor old Tom finds himself on the battlefield in the midst of the human v mimic chaos. He has little or no training so he's brutally slaughtered in pretty quick order only to suddenly awaken again at the start of his final day to relive it all again, and again, and again.

The film is funnier than I was expecting, it has a nice playful sense of humour and I guess seeing the Cruiser getting killed never gets old. He plays it admirably against type at the outset - starting off as terrifically cowardly before slowly manning up and dealing with his situation. He's positioned as the star of course but it becomes something of a two hander after Emily Blunt joins the fun as a fellow trooper on the battlefield who may have an insight into this strange predicament.

An explanation is offered for how/why this is all happening - it may not be the most convincing but it does the job all the same. It's not just a case of returning to the battlefield endlessly for the full two hours though as the plot does spiral out from here eventually. Later it slips into slightly more generic alien invasion territory which is a slight shame but understandable, it had to go somewhere.

It all looks top notch of course, as you'd expect from this type of production. So overall, a cracking effort I thought. Recommended.
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5.0 out of 5 stars 'ZERO TO HERO' - 'BUT WHO WILL REMEMBER ?., 13 Oct. 2014
rbmusicman/and/movie-fan' (U.K) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Live Die Repeat: Edge of Tomorrow [Blu-ray 3D + Blu-ray] [2014] [Region Free] (Blu-ray)
The Earth is under attack from an Alien race, our weaponry is no match for them.
Major William Cage (Tom Cruise) is ordered against his will to go into combatative
service and will be dropped onto the front line of defence on the French shores.
The Major can't even stomach the sight of blood, certainly not his own, the mission
he is about to embark upon is almost certainly one in which he will be killed.
Branded as a deserter and coward he's been demoted to 'private'
On the Beaches of France the Aliens totally overwhelm Earth's attack force including
unlikely combatant William Cage, however he's been thrown into a 'Time-Loop' and
arrives back on base on the evening prior to the ill-fated attack.
This happens over and over again, he cannot make his new comrades understand
that he knows what will happen next.
On the beach he'd met celebrated 'Warrior' 'Rita Vrataski' (Emily Blunt),with the knowlede
of what had happened each time around he's able to save from certain death at that moment
in time.
Each time he returns to the beach he learns a little more and develops his skills and gradually
learn how to fight back.
Because 'Rita' also has the memories of her earlier beach encounters with the Aliens,the two
begin to form an alliance, the former Major is put through his paces by 'Rita' he has many skills
to learn.
Teaching him new skills, over and over again, preparation is everything, a little knowledge
of what happens next, an advantage ???
It seems the only hope Earth has of victory may well depend upon the few.
There is some seriously enjoyable action sequences along the way as 'William' and 'Rita'
progress a little further on each re-visit.
There are also several light hearted moments that are sure to make you smile.
The film is without question an enjoyable movie experience indeed.
Great special-effects, in 3-D the action is certainly in-your-face so to speak, as the spider
like creatures are hurled toward you (great-stuff)
Great picture and sound quality throughout.
Special Features (in 2-D)
* STORMING THE BEACH - Drive into the trenches for a gritty look of creating the films
epic sci-fi batte.
* WEAPONS OF THE FUTURE - Watch Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt tackle the challenges
of strapping on exo-suits to become super soldiers.
* ON THE EDGE WITH DOUG LIMAN - Follow the passion-fueled director as he confronts
the pressure of making a futuristic war film look real.
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5.0 out of 5 stars "Groundhog day" + "Starship Troopers" + Emily Blunt = MASTERPIECE!, 24 Jun. 2014
Maciej "Darth Maciek" (Darth Maciek is out there...) - See all my reviews
At last! 17 years after "Starship Troopers" somebody finally made a SF action film ALMOST as good! I loved it and was very impressed by it. Below, more of my impressions, with some very limited SPOILERS.

As probably everybody already knows, this film is about an alien invasion of Earth and a human soldier who is trapped in a time loop, which unavoidably makes him live the same day again and again and again... This may sound like the same idea as in "Groundhog Day", but here there are serious differences, which make this film into a much darker and more dramatic thing - but I will absolutely not say anything more about it as you deserve to discover it by yourself... In fact, I will not say anything more about the story.

The reasons why I loved this film so much are many - I will try to enumerate the most important:

1. A strong scenario. Quite a lot of action movies suffer from hastily and poorly written scenarios. NOT THIS ONE! Here a considerable effort was made to keep the whole thing as logical as it is possible for a SF action movie - and it shows on the screen!

2. Good dialogs. Although it is an action movie, people still talk in it a lot and what they say is usually important, relevant, entertaining and not stupid at all.

3. Mystery and problem solving. There is a riddle in this film, a kind of treasure hunt and also some mind games played both by humans and by aliens - as in a real war, in which, as Churchill said "the truth is so precious that it must be dissimulated behind a screen of deception"...

4. Humour. This film is actually quite dark but definitely NOT humourless. The director and the scenarist made a great effort to introduce some DISCREET humour in such a way as to not damage the film - and they made a terrific job! No stupid wisecracking here, no jarjarbinksing clowns, no painful puns à la Schwarzenegger - no, here the humour was made to fit naturally in the situation. Also, because it is a quite dark and serious film, there is a lot of really black humour...)))

5. Language. It is such a relief to finally see a GOOD, serious, brutal, violent SF action movie in which there is virtually NO obscenities and no F-bombs. Of course, almost all characters are soldiers so from time to time they must use some strong words - but all in all the language in this film is surprisingly civilized. And it actually makes this film BETTER!

6. Good actors. Both main actors are absolutely GREAT in this film - they act exactly as one could expect from reasonable, adult people placed in such situation, without overacting but also without underacting.

7. Great working relation and screen magnetism between Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt. OK, I am going to give another SPOILER here: thanks God there is NO romance between those two, but of course a kind of emotional bond ultimately appears, which is exactly what one should expect will happen. Indeed, when a man and a woman are forced by circumstances to live, train, work, fight, suffer, win, lose and DIE together day after day, week after week and month after month, with the WHOLE WORLD against them, you can expect that they will bond - even if it is just a little...

8. Good main characters. Both Major William Cage (Cruise) and Sergeant Rita Vrataski (Blunt) characters are shown as living people, with their identities well defined. Also, they are not exactly saints - Cage is a rather despicable guy at the beginning of this film and cold and ruthless pragmatism of the main female character makes her also into somebody not entirely likeable...

9. Excellent secondary characters. Bill Paxton proves again in his film that he is a GREAT actor, who can play an extremely wide spectrum of characters. We all remember him as the pathetic slimy car seller/seducer of married women from "True Lies" - here, he plays PERFECTLY Master Sergeant Farell, a tough as nails NCO who saw it all, knows it all and has a procedure and a (usually unpleasant) solution to it all...))) Brendan Gleeson is also great as a tough, efficient, no-nonsense but incredibly pigheaded general Brigham. And then of course there is the whole J Squad, to which Cage is affected - that is quite a gallery of characters, not unlike the Rasczak's Roughnecks in "Starship Troopers"...

10. Excellent alien design. Alien invaders, the Mimics, look REALLY alien! There is absolutely nothing on Earth you can compare them to and from the first moment it is clear that those things evolved somewhere very far from there...

11. Good action scenes. Even if fighting is ultimately NOT the most important thing in this film, war scenes are GOOD! Because alien invaders are so FAST some people can complain that it may be sometimes hard to understand all the details of the fight - but I found it actually quite appealing, as this incredible speed of Mimics made them formidable oponents, not just gun fodder.

12. Some good ideas about the military aspect of things. A large part of the film is devoted to one gigantic battle, a kind of Normandy landing, in which humanity throws virtually everything that can be mustered, with all bottoms of all barrels scraped and everything and everybody send to the front line. The great idea here was to make follow the futuristic helitransports (which are the backbone of human war effort) by virtually anything older, even obsolete, that could still fly or navigate. Except a mistake on my part I think I managed to identify on this futuristic battlefield some MI-24 and Eurocopter Tigre gunship helicopters providing fire support and venerable Aerospatiale Puma transport helicopters carrying troops. Even more interesting was the presence at one moment of ex-Soviet giant, heavily armed hovercrafts of "Pomornik" class - those very real ships of quite formidable aspect and capacity, were build in the 1980s to land Soviet troops during planned invasion of Denmark and Sweden. Here they bring reinforcements to the beaches and provide fire support with their numerous 30mm Gatling guns and multiple rocket launchers... And yes, guilty as charged, I am totally a military history freak.

13. The ending. Always the most critical moment in every movie, in this one it is very honest. Maybe not the best that could be found - but very honest indeed.

CONCLUSION: an EXCELLENT, clever, spectacular, extremely entertaining SF action film. Not as good as "Starship Troopers" (that is hardly possible) but ALMOST as good. To see absolutely! ENJOY!
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