Live Die repeat

Here’s a quick review of the Cruise Missile Man’s Groundhog Day battle/sci fi/war flick All You Need is Kill. Sorry Jarv, I’m going with the grammatically incorrect but much more apt original title since it works better with the story than that shitty Christian Rock album title.

The Cruiser plays Major William Cage, a professional flack for the United Defense Force a multinational defense force led by NATO (snicker… NATO IS American). Cage is a great PR flack. He turned a female sergeant named Rita Vratski (Emily Blunt) into the “Angel of Verdun” where, the story goes, she won the first crucial victory of humans over the “Mimics” in the five year war against the alien invaders. Vratski also has another name, certainly less flattering and one she doesn’t seem to appreciate, “Full Metal Bitch”.

The Cruiser is ordered by Gen. Brigham (Brendon Gleeson) to go in with the first wave of soldiers hitting the beaches in France to chronicle the big invasion of Europe to push the Mimics out. This is definitely NOT on the Cruiser’s agenda since he isn’t trained for combat in any way so he tries to get out of it by finally resorting to blackmailing the General. This doesn’t work out well for Tommy Boy. He’s arrested and sent to join a ‘hard luck” squad that is going in the first wave.

This is where the the movie really gets good. We are introduced to the Cruiser’s first day of being a real soldier that he keeps on repeating through most of the movie. The term “wake up maggot” becomes the cue that you are getting to the best twenty minute montage of the movie where Cruise learns what happened to him, gets with Sgt Vratski who had the same issue as him at Verdun, gets trained and figures out how to beat the Mimics and get the hell off the beach. In this section we also meet Gunnery Sergeant Apone…er.. I mean Master Sergeant Farell played by the inimitable Bill Paxton in full scenery chewing mode and he’s entertaining as hell.


There you go that’s the basic plot of the movie and I don’t want to get into too much about it because some of the reveals will work better if you don’t know about them going in. The movie is somewhat derivative on the war side of the story but the sci fi side is surprisingly well thought out. The time travel angle is dealt with in a logical consistent manner for once. It’s actually one of the few movies with a time travel angle that seems to mostly work and stays away from paradoxes and the usual nonsense that goes with time travel. Maybe because the scope is so limited, one day, that the movie is able to stay consistent with its own internal logic.

The Cruiser as Major Cage does some of his best work in a very long time. I don’t know if Tommy boy made the choice or if his character was written that way or a collaboration happened but the Cruiser played against type in this movie. All his usual Tomminess is on display. The grin, the cockiness, the running, the callowness but it’s tweaked in such a way as to portray him as a feckless goofball. Usually Tommy plays the “with it” guy, the guy in the know, the trained man but here, at first, he is playing a total useless PR knob job, one that decidedly does not want to be the hero which is a departure for The Cruiser. Watching him train everyday and die every day, sometimes at the hands of Sgt. Vraski, reminded me that the Cruiser can act when he wants to. He sold the transformation from wimpy loser to battle hardened veteran perfectly.


Run Tommy RUN!

Run Tommy RUN!


For the first time ever Emily Blunt finally registered for me on screen. True, her usual blank expression was in place but somehow it worked in context of her character, a feminist wet dream of a bad ass commando and to her credit she pulls off the part. Her Sgt. Vraski is a smart tough operator and earned her nickname as the Angel of Verdun by figuring out, with the help of a disgraced physicist, what was happening to her and use it to her advantage which may or may not have led to the first major victory in the war with the Mimics.


Some random observations before I wrap this up. The movie has a lot of historical, literary, real life references. It was released on 6 June to coincide with D Day and the movie is another assault on French beaches. The Angel of Verdun is in reference to the Battle of Verdun in WW1. The battle armor is evocative of Starship Troopers. The Standard Officer uniform of the UDF is the United States Marine Corps Officers Alpha Uniform with different lapel insignia and I think they messed around with the color code a bit, it looked darker.

All in all I highly recommend the movie. It was a thoughtful well put together fun movie to watch.


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About Xiphos0311

Sporadic genius but mostly IDGAF.


  1. Just Pillow Talk says :

    I thought this looked good from the previews, good to hear it lived up to them. I think Cruise and SciFi go well together for the most part.

    • Xiphos0311 says :

      The Cruiser rarely disappoints for me Pillows. yeah this movie is a good one very well made very entertaining.

      • Jarv says :

        The Cruiser rarely disappoints for me Pillows

        I find him really, really hit and miss nowadays. I wasn’t a fan of any of his Spielberg films (with particular hatred for War of the Turds), and the last two I’ve seen him in were Oblivion (meh) and Jack Reacher (shit on a stick).

      • Xiphos0311 says :

        I did qualify with rarely. Reacher was bad but it was totally a vanity project. WotW was pretty bad but I thought Crusier was alright in it, Didn’t see Oblivion.

      • Jarv says :

        Oblivion was miles better than both Reacher and WOTW, and (being controversial) that sack of shit Minority Report.

  2. Toadkillerdog says :

    Good review Xi. I really enjoyed this flick and thought Cruise did a great job.
    I usually loathe time travel movies because they take the easy way out to resolve matters, but this movie was solid.
    I only had two issues with it.
    1) Blunt, while very good and believable as a battle hardened soldier for most of the flick, almost completely lost all of that near the end especially when she deferred to Cruise in the last few scenes, such as when cruise is trying to recruit his platoon mates for one last desperate mission and uses her as his recruiting tool and she just stands there like a lump from a poster instead of hardass leader of men and women. then later during firefight on the transport she looked like some helpless chick along for the ride. She recovered somewhat at the very end, but damn that was terrible sequence.
    But even worse was the ending. Will not give anything away, but it sucked.
    Still all in all i really enjoyed that flick and it was a damn shame it under performed so badly. When we saw it the theater was 3/4 empty

    • Judge Droid says :

      Yeah the moment with Cruise using Blunt as the recruitment tool was wasted. She just walks in and mutters something like ‘They’ll do.” Could’ve played that for a big laugh or something.

      As for the end, I agree. Without giving it away, it’s a completely forced happy ending and it makes no sense at all. However, I wonder if Oblivion had something to do with it, because that has the exact same finale (but without the patronising super happy ending).

      • Toadkillerdog says :

        Hey R2. You are up late/early. Hell I don’t know.
        How is life in Oz?

      • Judge Droid says :

        Up late-ish. It’s nearly 1 here. I am aiming to stay up for the Australia-Spain game which starts in an hour. We’ll see how I go.

        Oz is good. It’s winter here now, so a bit chilly. Equivalent of a UK summer.

    • Xiphos0311 says :

      I don’t understand the ending complaint, I thought it logically made sense in the context of the story.

      As far as Blunt goes she really didn’t know those soldiers the way Tommy does and he’s a closer all they needed from her was her shine and presence to get them to sign up for that suicide mission,

      • Toadkillerdog says :

        The ending can not be discussed without spoilers, but it sucked.
        As for Blunt, she was great up until meeting the platoon and the transport. She turned into a total dishrag – basically subservient to Cruise. She was THE badass and trump card – but she acted like she was just saying ‘hi’. She did not have to kick ass and take names, but she needed to be far more assertive even in body language. She just slumped there. Totally took me out of believing her character at that moment. Only recovered at very end.

      • Jarv says :

        Have you seen Nu-Godzilla TKD?

      • Toadkillerdog says :

        Yes I sawr. It. I am conflicted. i was even thinking about writing a review, overall i enjoyed the flick. But it had so much wasted potential that it is a bit disappointing to me as Godzilla fan.

        Cranston was a waste of skin. Over dramatic and unnecessary. Kickass was damn near Kitchesque – although not quite and he may be redeemable. Why non olsen twin was in flick is beyond me.

        The Big G was indeed big, maybe a tad bit portly but that was ok. What was decidedly not ok, was the lack of the signature roar! Oh he roared, but it was not a Godzilla roar.

        The fight/destruction all happened off camera! Just insanely annoying. Great looking destruction but we saw none of what caused it!
        The final show down between whatever the hell they were monsters vs the Big G was disappointing and weak – even though this time the showed some destruction.

        The Fx were outstanding. The story was weak, acting was worse and No Godzilla roar and no scenes of destruction, just aftermath.
        All that being said, it is not a bad flick. Just disappointing.

      • Jarv says :

        Just procured it. Mildly curious.

  3. tombando says :

    Yeah I liked this movie quite a lot. Agreed, felt the ending was very ummmm Del Toro/ Randy Quaid-ish, but it still worked well. Blunt was great. You have Starship Troopers mixed w/ Groundhogs Day and it’s handled much better than it hadda right to be. I also enjoyed watching the Squiddies wading in the Thames. Good stuff. Weren’t that many in the theatre yesterday, weird how this thing missed w/ the BO as its far better than say Spidey Too or Godzilla.

    • Toadkillerdog says :

      Tom, i think a simple reason is that the title truly sucks. Maybe not as much as the comic book it is based on, But it sounds like a soap opera or chick flick. I actually forgot the name of the movie while waiting to pay for the tickets! I thought i was having senior moment. I just blurted out the ‘Tom Cruise movie’. Then i looked up at the board and finally found it only because they had a picture next to the title.
      Same could be said for John Carter. Just dumb marketing.

  4. Toadkillerdog says :

    Live and Let Die!
    Oh, that was already used.

  5. Jarv says :

    The title blows. It’s generic and bland as fuck. However, it does at least make some kind of sense.

    Droid said it above, but this ” Live, Die, Repeat” should have been the title. Or just “Repeat” by itself. Something like that anyway.

    Nice review, but being “that guy” wasn’t Bill Pullman Private Hudson? I’m pretty sure Apone was the big black dude that bought it messily early on

    • Xiphos0311 says :

      Gunnery Sergeant Apone was the Platoon Sergeant in Aliens. Paxton’s performance in All You Need Is Kill is rather reminiscent of Apone’s.

  6. ThereWolf says :

    Good stuff, Xi.

    I’d forgotten about this film. I’m quite interested to see it. Thought The Cruise was decent in Oblivion.

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