Based on the novel, All You Need is Kill, the film finds Major William Cage (Cruise), who is mainly a PR man, dropped into the middle of a war between humans and aliens into what is essentially a suicide mission. When “fighting”, his blood is mixed with the aliens (mimics), giving him their “powers” of pre-sight. This allows him to relive the day over and over again, whilst enlisting the help of Rita Vrataski (Blunt), a woman who has been deemed the Angel of Verdun. During the film they work together, in order to try and rid the earth of the mimics.
Trivialising this film into a sentence was pretty easy. It is Groundhog Day meets Independence Day. Cruise plays a character who relives the same day over and over, and uses it in order to try and stop the war between his race, and the aliens.
The “powers” he develops are well explained. He has them because of his blood mixing, and further on in the film, we realise that if his blood is taken, he has lost the powers. Explaining the “powers” near the start is a great way to get straight into the action, and allow the story to flow a little bit faster. The “time loop” at the beginning is played quite like Groundhog Day, instead of music to signify the new day, we get Cage waking up and going through the routine. As the film progresses this is done away with and we just get cuts of the action, him dying, then back to the action straight away.
The time loop that Cage inhabits allows us to see him develop as a person. When it first starts, he is pretty much a coward. A guy who is scared of the sight of blood. But as the film goes on, he gets more used to everything, having lived it over and over. We see him (with training from Vrataski) develop not only the skills he needs to survive, but also see him become more heroic. The fact that Vrataski has been through the same thing as him means that there is a bond there straight away, as they have shared this unique thing. It allows Vrataski to be a mentor to Cage, but at the same time, Cage having the “power” allows him to ultimately be the one in control.
The effects on the film are good enough. The Exosuits that are worn are extremely good, probably the best “weaponry” I have seen in film in a while. The aliens themselves look good, and most of the fight sequences are quite good. I watched the film in 3D, and whilst it is good enough, it is a little hammy the way that the 3D is used (think old school 3D where things come out of the screen JUST so it can be 3D)
The film in general is ok, nothing groundbreaking. There is a few red herrings, which are pushed through the narrative, but then quickly forgotten about when a new path is forged. It kind of makes everything irrelevant which felt like a disappointment. The side characters apart from Paxton are nothing more than a few lines, and nothing to allow you to empathise with them. Also because of the time loop, people die frequently, so deaths never have that much impact.
All in all, the film is serviceable. Its nothing new, but it has a shiny FX coat to help you forget that its nothing new
*** 1/2 Stars(out of 5)
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Sci Fi, Drama, Comedy
30th May 2014 (UK)
Tom Cruise, Emily Blunt, Bill Paxton, Brendan Gleeson