After reading the manga “All you need is Kill” and being so impressed I downloaded and read the novel it was based on, I finally got myself to the cinema to see it. Actually, I saw it in glorious IMAX 3D. Personally really enjoyed it, a good Tom Cruise film and it had mech suits! This is my Edge of Tomorrow review !
From the very start of the film, I realised that it would not be like the book or manga at all. Obviously books and films are always different. However, I think that because it was a Japanese book, a lot more was changed to fit Hollywood that I would have liked. Overall I felt it was less Sci-Fi and more blockbuster. This however is the trend at the moment, with comicbook adaptations becoming very mainstream also. At the end of the day, I think “Edge of Tomorrow” can be described as a “Tom Cruise fights aliens and time travels Blockbuster.”
A lot of people have compared it to “Groundhog Day” because of the looping one day scenario. I personally have never watched Groundhog Day, so I can’t make that comparison. Time travel has been played around with a lot recently, “Source Code” and “X-men: Days of Future Past” and “Looper” as examples. It’s very much a sci-fi concept, used in books and films for a long time. As mentioned however I do think it’s becoming more popular for the wider audiences, and so watching sci-fi based plots is no longer seen as particularly geeky or brainy. For this reason, I feel the film has dumbed down the explanation for the the loop in the story. The film changes the aliens and also the mechanics behind the time travelling. This might be to cut down on run time, since their explanation is simpler, but considering it was explain in two pages in the manga, I don’t think it was a necessity.
Other plot changes included the main character. Tom Cruise is named William Cage, which makes sense because he’s not Japanese. I actually like this name, because Cage is a small nod to the character’s nickname in the book. He ranks as a major but doesn’t want to be in the war, instead working in marketing and recruiting. He however is forced into the front line, being demoted to private and labeled a deserter. This explains why he isn’t trained in the mech suit combat. It does divert however to the original plot of just being a newly recruited, the biggest impact of this is his attitude towards the war, and also his way of thinking at the start. The age and maturity of the two characters also vary a lot.
Tom Cruise however pulls of his character very well. I think it must be difficult for Tom Cruise to play anyone but himself, however his performance was great and shows he’s still got it in him to be a the summer-blockbuster hero. There’s humour, seriousness, love and panic which he pulls off perfectly throughout the film. I found that only the determined, edgy, soldiering on mentally to be missing, which I guess he kind of gains later on. The difference in emotional impact between the book and the film again varies here.
Emily Blunt makes a good female soldier. She comes across as attractive without being sexy, as well as being a very efficient soldier without doing stupid feline like movements often given to female characters. Instead she has a badass sword which she swings around. Think of a hollywood version of Brienne of Tarth. Her chemistry with Cage works well, and they don’t particularly fall in love straight away, since she only meets him for the first time everyday, which I was worried might happen. Instead we see how Cage reacts and treats her as he gets to know her more despite her not knowing him.
The rest of the cast are very stereotypical, dumbed down but played well. I didn’t fall in love with them, and unlike the comradeship in the book, there is a distinct comradeship. The squad however are likeable enough and add an exotic mix of accents to the film. Perhaps I would have enjoyed watching more character development there.
There are certainly some scenes I missed from the book, such as the pickled plum eating contest. I also missed the fact they don’t give Cage a giant battle axe, and instead stick to guns and grenades. Classic. I do however understand other changes, such as making the war more global and not sticking it on an island off Japan. I felt a moment of glee when I saw Cage run through London and was able to say “Oh I walk there sometimes!” It could only have been made better if the Queen herself came out in a battle suit and shot some aliens.
Overall, it’s a film I wouldn’t see again at the cinema but would certainly rent out for a movie night. I think if I hadn’t read the book first, I would have enjoyed it a lot. Great acting by the cast, decent script and lots of budget. It stands against some pretty strong competition for this year’s summer release but certainly hold’s it own. Go watch it. Then go read the book.