Die Harder Forever
Some VERY naughty aliens have invaded Earth (in central Europe this time as opposed to the poor auld USA getting a kicking as is the norm, clearly cultured aliens do exist), and swiftly dispose of Mankind in his European form.
Having been pushed back to the English channel, a final Normandy style assault by the World Forces to save Humanity has been ordered. And of course a major part of any/all contemporary War campaigns marching point, is the spin machine. Strutting in comes Major William Cage (Tom Cruise), an ex ad agency executive, now Army PR, with zero combat training to pitch/present the propaganda to the World. At least that’s what he thought.
Cage really isn’t a nice guy at all, he’s inspired millions to join the Army/die, so we’re quite pleased when head of the assault General Brigham (Brendan Gleeson) informs Cage that he’s going to be in the first assault facing immediate (guaranteed) death rather than sitting in luxury at an editing suite back in London HQ. His attempts to scupper this arrangement smacks of modern politicians who are only too quick to send strangers to their death, but not themselves or their children, a very nice touch indeed.
It’s not a spoiler to say that Cruise dies pretty much immediately on the landing, it being the advertising campaign strap for the movie “Live. Die. Repeat.” It’s a somewhat joyous play on anyone who may not be an overt fan of Tom Cruise, you get to see him die, ALOT! To the extent where rather than a protracted emotive Oscar baiting scene, it’s wonderfully casual very quickly.
The reason for Cage’s ability to come back from the dead, is the manner of his actual death whilst in battle. I’ll not go into it as the less you know about the movie the better, suffice to say, the naughty aliens have some pesky time travelling abilities…
Cage’s new found Die and Repeat ability enables him to be ignored indefinitely as his day is reset and he tries to warn everyone of the impending disaster that is the final assault plan. Effectively like a War Messiah, the movie follows his own development as he’s tries thousands of ways to change the outcome. For all his absolute inability/arrogance at the beginning of the movie, it is a joy to watch his utter determination/perseverance, and total commitment to NEVER giving up, it’s Rocky Balboa getting up off the canvas x 1000. It also has echoes of gaming, where you have to continually build up your skill base to advance through the level, which in turn is a bit like life.
Developed from the novel ’All You Need Is Kill’ by Hiroshi Sakurazaka it can’t be said it’s a wholly original/redefining sci-fi piece as it is gleefully inspired by some of the best sci-fi movies around, but that is to it’s absolute credit, as what it is fantastically confident, beautifully rendered and intelligent science fiction, at it’s best. It’s not the greatest sci-fi movie ever, but it’s absolutely solid brilliant fun. It has been influenced by the best bits of your favourite sci-fi movies. Oh! And it’s very funny at times too.
Admittedly the heroine of the campaign Special Forces warrior (Emily Blunt) is a tad underwritten, but it’s not a massive criticism. You’re having too much fun to be bothered. It’s also great to see such a huge movie being location based in Europe too. Living in London, it’s always a joy to see it on the big screen, even if it’s flooded with a swarm of very vicious aliens streaming down the Thames.
It’s big, it’s fun, looks amazing, with a great cast and is anything but dumb. Edge Of Tomorrow will be ’Live. Watch. Repeat.’ for many years to come.
‘Edge Of Tomorrow’ is out now.