11th Oct2014

‘Live Die Repeat: Edge of Tomorrow’ Blu-ray Review

by Paul Metcalf

Stars: Tom Cruise, Emily Blunt, Bill Paxton, Brendan Gleeson, Jonas Armstrong, Tony Way, Kick Gurry, Franz Drameh, Dragomir Mrsic, Charlotte Riley | Written by Christopher McQuarrie, Jez Butterworth, John-Henry Butterworth | Directed by Doug Liman


Anybody who has played computer games (and who hasn’t?) knows how useful the restart option is, or the more annoying forced respawn from death.  To die at a tricky part of the level and just be able to restart at a checkpoint or recently saved position helps you adapt your strategy and retry what you did wrong, till you finally make it past that tough part and reach the end of the level.  This is exactly what Tom Cruise has the ability to do in Live Die Repeat: Edge of Tomorrow.

Tom Cruise plays Major William Cage, an arrogant PR man for the human war machine fighting against the alien invasion that has overtaken most of Europe.  Finding himself suddenly thrust onto the front line it’s not long before he meets his demise, but not before he gets covered in the blood of one of the aliens.  Waking up about twenty-four hours earlier he finds himself caught in a time loop, the only person who can help him being the Special Forces “Warrior” Rita Vrataski (Emily Blunt) who seems all too familiar with his current ailment.

Tom Cruise is often the name that sells the movie and gets the audiences into the cinema.  This time people are going to be taking notice of another star and that is Emily Blunt who steals the show.  That’s not to say Cruise is not good in this of course.  Her badass character though is the face of the war, being the warrior that dominates battles and seems to know just how to destroy the enemy.  This of course is based on the fact that she once was like Cruise’s character, which conveniently provides a shortcut to explains a lot of Cage is going through and allows the movie to get back to the important stuff, training montages and planning, if this was a computer game Cruise’s character does a lot of grinding (building up experience levels).  You can’t help but feel the “resets” that Rita constantly seems to enjoy doing with her gun are made to be darkly funny, I know I laughed at some of them.

Another thing that works to aid Live Die Repeat’s feeling of actually being in a war is that it takes time to create Cage as the underdog, though he is an arrogant one that that.  Dodging the fight but somehow becoming a Major, this seems to be the reason he was pushed into the biggest battle of the war so far.  Adding characters like Master Sergeant Farell (Bill Paxton) and the other grunts ready to be thrown out of the drop-ship but all having a mutual hate of Cage, it fleshes out an area that other movies often allow to be weak.  These characters do end up being important to the finale, but the initial setup of the unit Cage is forced into is a good setup and gives a human element to the action.  Paxton also seems to really enjoy playing a more mature version of his character Hudson from Aliens too, especially in the drop ship scene.

While we can say that this is a Groundhog Day movie, and maybe it is, but it is also something different too.  If anything Live Die Repeat (or if you prefer, Edge of Tomorrow) proves that a Gears of War movie may actually work.  It creates a believable battle on the beaches of Normandy, and the exo-suits that are created to fight against the so-called Mimics do have that Gear of Wars look.  This is a film that tries to keep to the realities of war even in a sci-fi setting and it does manage to keep a level of that in the action.  The reset ability also makes this feel like the most computer game like movie that has been made so far.  It gets the idea of the reset just right, and most importantly we don’t have to go through too many repeated scenes, the film is edited so that when the audience have the important scenes pinned down, it doesn’t have to repeat them again (for us).  We know the Cruise character is already going over them again and again, we don’t have to see it.

I found Live Die Repeat: Edge of Tomorrow more fun than I thought I would.  When Tom Cruise has the right movie he really tends to shine, but Emily Blunt arguably stole the show with this one and together they created an entertaining and fun movie that really does feel like a computer game I’d love to play.  The alien forces may be a little too Matrix like at times and may be a little weak for some people’s taste, but I feel there is a good mixture of both humanity and alien battles to make this a little bit more than just a random shoot-em-up.  It also makes me want to look into buying the novel All You Need is Kill by Hiroshi Sakurazaka too, which is what the movie is actually based on, something I will have to look into.

****½  4.5/5

Live Die Repeat: Edge of Tomorrow is available on DVD, Blu-ray and Blu-ray 3D from October 13th.

Review originally posted on PissedOffGeek

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