All You Need Is Kill by Hiroshi Sakurazaka
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
All You Need is Kill (Edge of Tomorrow)by Hiroshi Sakurazaka
I don't usually write reviews of films; so why should I start now? Let's forget that three other people wrote the screenplay for this little gem of a film. I enjoyed the film aside from having just a moment of confusion about the ending.(Hope that doesn't stand as a spoiler.) As soon as I got home I got onto Amazons site and downloaded the book. This turned out to be fortuitous because the book was every bit as good, if not better than the movie in many ways and it was, not so surprisingly, nothing like the movie. This works out well for both because if you have read the book you can still enjoy the movie as something quite different. And if you've seen the movie I would recommend that you read the book it came from. The ending is less of a head shaker but then you need to read it to find out what I mean by that.
So I've heard it said that this was like Groundhog Day mixed with Starship Troopers. And more reverently compared to Groundhog Day mixed with Independence Day. Since these Mimics reminded me a lot of the Matrix Sentinel I think we can toss some of that into it too. But that's the movie and I'm cutting quickly to the original novel from which the idea was taken.
In the book the Mimics are described as looking somewhat like frogs which comes nowhere close to what we see in the movie. Keiji(Cage) Kiriya is not a Major in the US Forces(as William Cage in the movie is) but instead a UDF Jacket Jockey-fresh and green as they come going into his first real battle. A short battle at that, and perhaps one of the longest short battles ever. His first meeting with the Full Metal Bitch (Mad Wargarita as the Japanese refer to her) is when she quiets him, after he's fatally hit, with some casual conversation; while she waits for him to die so she can take his battery. This is the introduction to the beginning of the loops. From Keiji's POV we get the grit of the war and perhaps some of the bitterness toward those in command sending out the Jackets to die.
The story itself begins much like the book The Good Soldier Svejk, by Jaroslav Hasek (which is a dark comedy on the horror of war and the incompetence of the Army.) The movie starts much the same, but for my tastes seems to be a bit more comedic ( and that might well be the reason to compare it to Starship Troopers), which may have diminished the characters that surround Keiji as he prepares each day to go to battle vowing to save as many of his comrades as he can. Rita Vrataski may be the closest character carried over from book to movie. Well the red hair might be a bit off or washed out in the movie. But I would have to agree with some that the movie portrayal somewhat diminishes the strong female character by placing her further back from the lens than is in the book. In the book the reader gets a whole chapter from her POV.
The book also contains an account of the use of a battle axe trademark of Rita and how Keiji quickly picks up on the value of such; enough to begin training with one as soon as possible. I particularly love the explanation of how the axe would be the weapon of choice for close battle.
In the book there is a far greater field from which to become acquainted with the characters. This and the many differences of book to movie make it a separate story in itself that stands well and above the film in so many ways I can not emphasize enough the importance of reading this story as a sort of measure of a much more powerful story.
For those who haven't seen the movie it is worth watching even for those who have read the book because in so many ways it is a completely different story being told.
For a movie that is quite outstanding on it's own; the book is far superior and well worth a read.
This is great SFF for the Military Minded Fan.
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