When we first heard that Hiroshi Sakurazaka‘s novel All You Need is Kill was being adapted for the big screen we knew this was going to be a winner. Then the studio changed its name to Edge of Tomorrow and revised a fair amount of the characters and story arcs and we weren’t so sure. By the time it hit the video stores the marketing folks realized Edge of Tomorrow as a title was responsible for some of the deficiencies at the box office, and so they elevated the status of their tagline Live. Die. Repeat. in big letters on the video boxes making it nearly impossible to remember the title. So here’s some good advice: Forget about the marketing screw-ups. Ignore it if you don’t like Tom Cruise’s personal life. And just watch this movie.
Although the outcome of Emily Blunt’s branded “Full Metal Bitch” Rita Vrataski is different from Sakurazaka’s novel, Rita is the finest example of kick-ass female that has hit the movie screen. Everyone should be watching Rita and getting inspired to take tai chi or tae kwan do. I’ve compared Rita to Sarah Connor and Ellen Ripley and stand by that comparison. And it’s worth noting it takes a real person to do all these physical acts of prowess to bring these characters to the screen, which should add Emily Blunt to role models like Linda Hamilton and Sigourney Weaver.
Military men and women and anyone who likes World War II movies will appreciate the entire future military command setting in Edge of Tomorrow. Bill Paxton’s Master Sergeant Farell is perfection, in a camp with Richard Jaeckel’s Sgt. Bowren in The Dirty Dozen or Warren Oates’ Sgt. Hulka in Stripes. The D-Day-inspired battle scenes even rival the great work done by Steven Spielberg in the Omaha Beach landing scene in Saving Private Ryan.
Rarely does good science fiction also manage to pull off laugh-out-loud humor. Director Doug Liman (The Bourne Identity) took a production that began without a full shooting script and pieced together something gritty and complete, offset with some of the funniest stuff put on film this year. Cruise’s character Cage tries repeatedly to escape and find Rita early in the film and is repeatedly killed–including an incredible scene involving him rolling under a jeep. Cruise is a great actor and entirely believable as his character grows–really selling his performance convincingly here as he does with most of his films.
After viewing the 3D Blu-ray release I have little more to add to my review of the film itself from what I said here at borg.com earlier this year. Scratch that. This time ’round it sunk in that this film has longevity. You can tell that it will be a movie you stop what you’re doing and watch on cable TV a few years from now on a Friday night, much like re-watching Aliens or the original Total Recall.
If you need convincing that Cruise and Liman are the real deal, watch the special features on the bonus disc that accompanies the 3D Blu-ray, standard Blu-ray, DVD, and Ultraviolet version included with the deluxe edition. Liman seems a bit obsessive like John Carpenter or Tim Burton, and uses that obsession to try to create perfection on film. Cruise does everything possible to convince cast and crew that he is one of them. Both of these guys work hard. The result is amazing entertainment.
The difference for 3D enthusiasts between Edge of Tomorrow and past 3D Blu-rays reviewed this year here at borg.com? So much action and good storytelling makes you forget you’re watching 3D. All said, very few sequences push the envelope of the 3D technology, so you’re likely not going to miss much by viewing the standard Blu-ray. Whichever version you choose, you’re going to love this film.
Pick up Edge of Tomorrow on 3D Blu-ray here, standard Blu-ray here, and DVD here at Amazon.com.