I treated myself to a night at home not doing any work and rather spending time with my good lady and watching a science fiction film. I know…how dare I! Moving on from that the film we choose to buy (I tend to just buy DVD’s as renting them is now very difficult and downloading does not suit me) was Edge of Tomorrow or Live, Die, Repeat or All You Need is Kill. Take your pick of the title. Though the last title is the book the film is based upon. So sitting in the dark with a beer or two how was it?
Well as an adaptation of the book it was quite a bit different which was sad really as the setting in All you need is Kill was to me better than a d-day recreation set in London and northern France. As a movie though Live Die Repeat was very good with a nice look and a lot of action. Here is the synopsis:
“The epic action of “Edge of Tomorrow” unfolds in a near future in which an alien race has hit the Earth in an unrelenting assault, unbeatable by any military unit in the world. Major William Cage (Tom Cruise) is an officer who has never seen a day of combat when he is unceremoniously dropped into what amounts to a suicide mission. Killed within minutes, Cage now finds himself inexplicably thrown into a time loop-forcing him to live out the same brutal combat over and over, fighting and dying again…and again. But with each battle, Cage becomes able to engage the adversaries with increasing skill, alongside Special Forces warrior Rita Vrataski (Emily Blunt). And, as Cage and Rita take the fight to the aliens, each repeated encounter gets them one step closer to defeating the enemy.”
It is well worth checking out when you have a chance if you are a science fiction film fan. Also it was good to see Bill Paxton back in the army!
So the book. I have owned the book since near its English language translation date in the VIS Media edition in 2005. I always thought it would make an excellent Manga but never thought it would be a Hollywood A lister live action film. Here is the synopsis of the book:
“The story is told from the perspective of Keiji Kiriya, a new recruit in the United Defense Force which fights against the mysterious ‘Mimics’ which have laid siege to Earth. Keiji is killed on his first sortie, but through some inexplicable phenomenon wakes up having returned to the day before the battle. This continues and he finds himself caught in a time loop as his death and resurrection repeats time and time again. Keiji’s skill as a soldier grows as he passes through each time loop in a desperate attempt to change his fate. After several dozen loops, he realizes his fate is tied to that of Rita Vrataski. He uses his knowledge of the day to get close to her and her mechanic, from whom he gets a copy of her massive axe, a weapon he learns to use well given the boltgun normal troops use runs out of ammo and jams easily. Realizing he is a fellow looper, Rita confides in Keiji, telling him of the system the Mimics use. There is a central nexus that can loop the day, as well as several antennae, all of which signal the loop to reset. Contact with an antenna is what trapped Keiji in the loop. Only by first killing all the antennae and then the nexus can Keiji escape. The Mimics constantly adapt to Keiji’s attacks, but he and Rita manage to eliminate the nexus, only to have the loop reset. After telling Rita this, she acknowledges that they missed one antenna. On the last loop (#160) they proceed to eliminate the antennae again, and then Rita attacks Keiji, explaining that being trapped in the loop has modified their brains so both of them are similar to the antennae, meaning one of them has to die before killing the nexus, else the loop will continue indefinitely. Keiji manages to kill Rita and then the nexus, and is hailed as a new hero of the Unity Army.”
Its a very original novel and its story works very well as a text, better than as a film if not using a narrator. Confusion and despair mixed with a foreboding of events that will happen, have happened and will happen again. If you have the inclination to read the book then you should and do so before you see the American adaptation of the book.
A last mention needs to be made of the alien creatures ‘Mimics’ which are described in the book but the film brought to CGI life. It is a shame that no ‘making of’ book exists to be bought since I would purchase it. The work that went into the design of the aliens was large and done in tandem with the designs of the armoured suits worn by troopers in the movie. I got this information from two short documentaries included on the DVD.