On the surface, this looks awful, a typical 21st-century
major studio production. Major William Cage (Tom Cruise), a smarmy PR
specialist, is assigned to a team invading Europe that has been taken
over by an alien force and is poised to take over the world. Naturally,
these are creatures that look and act like incommunicative monsters,
most probably creations of some computer in the sky. Cage, who has never
seen a day of combat, is thrown into becoming a part of a futuristic
Prospectively worse, itís directed by Doug Liman, who directed the first
of three Bourne films (The Bourne Identity), the only one that
wasnít any good. Liman also directed the dismal Mr. and Mrs. Smith
(2003), so I wasnít expecting anything that smacked of being
was a pleasant surprise to find this thoroughly engrossing and extremely
well-directed with humor and pace. Cruise does a terrific job of acting
and his comedic talent makes the film something I wasnít expecting at
giving anything away, this is a gripping, humorous time-travel movie,
based on the Japanese light novel (a novel targeting middle and high
school students) All You Need is Kill by Hiroshi Sakurazaka,
that starts out on a high note with a fine confrontation between Cage
and General Brigham (Brendan Gleeson), that lets Cage know what the army
is all about. This high standard is maintained as Cage finds himself
trapped into suicidal combat in a force in England ready to invade
France by air the next day.
special effects are very good and Liman is smart in that they donít
overwhelm the story. Also effective is the modern futuristic battle
garb, called the Exosuit. Cruise gets some comedic effects out of it as
he is forced to familiarize himself.
appearing is Emily Blunt. While she has a major role, she doesnít appear
onscreen that much and her role is less than challenging, to say the
least. Even so, she and Cruise establish good, believable chemistry.
Cruiseís movie and he makes it into a winner with a lot of help from
Liman, who keeps the pace up throughout, and a really good script
(Christopher McQuarrie and Jez Butterworth & John-Henry Butterworth).
Although the locations are London, Paris and the French coast
countryside, almost the entire film was shot at Warner Bros. Studios
Leavesden, capturing the war-torn look seen throughout the film. The one
exception is a shot of a helicopter landing in Trafalgar square, the
first time a film company was allowed to land a helicopter there.
futuristic, special-effects laden film, this is one of the best.