Review of All You Need is Kill

I was 13 years old in 1993 when Groundhog Day was released in theaters. 5 years later, I started writing a looping screenplay of my own called “Breeze Way”. In 2009, Hiroshi Sakurazaka published All You Need is Kill, a looping war action drama, which was released as Edge of Tomorrow in 2014.

I was so excited when I first saw the trailer. I was like, “Yes, Groundhog Day meets War of the Worlds – starring Tom Cruise!”, but when I found out it was based on a book, I was like, “I can’t wait, I’m just going to read it.” I ended up reading it in one evening and found it very riveting. The ending of the book is much different than the movie, but I won’t ruin it here. There are no spoilers in this post.

Quotes from All You Need is Kill

The book is, at times, more insightful than the movie (emphasis mine):

What if someone who had the potential to discover a formula to unlock the mysteries of the universe wanted to become a pulp fiction writer? What if someone who had the potential to create unparalleled gastronomic delicacies had his heart set on civil engineering? There is what we desire to do, and what we are able to do. When those two things don’t coincide, which path should we pursue to find happiness?

This one covers talent vs. deliberate practice and self improvement:

I didn’t possess any extraordinary talents that set me apart from my peers. I was just a soldier. There were things I could do, and things I couldn’t. If I practiced, in time I could change some of those things I couldn’t do into things I could.”

There are some technical explanations for how the looping is happening, which the author, Sakurazaka, attempts to explain and wrap up the story, but I found them a little bit of a stretch. However, it’s much more of an explanation than what you get from Harold Ramis’ Groundhog Day.

The ‘Science’ from All You Need is Kill

In the book, the alien fighters use “tachyons”, theoretical particles that can travel faster than the speed of light, to travel backwards in time. Tachyons were also used in Watchmen (2009) where Dr. Manhattan’s ability to see into the future is blocked by tachyons generated by Adrian Veidt. In All You Need is Kill (2009), alien terraformers use tachyon pulses to send information back to themselves to win a battle.

Tachyons Research in Reality

In 2012 the Higgs Boson particle was confirmed, which is a particle in “tachyon condensation” meaning it is in a quantum field with “imaginary mass” (whatever that means). In 2011, before the Higgs Boson particle was confirmed, scientists theorized that Higgs “singlets” may be traveling back in time and sabotaging the discovery. I guess that wasn’t happening since they were able to discover it eventually, but who knows?

Predestination Explained: a Timeline without Paradoxes

Predestination_Movie

The following timelines show how the timeline we saw in the movie, Predestination, was not the original timeline, but one edited by Robertson. These are just my ideas:

Option 1

  1. Time travel was invented in 1981 and Robertson is tasked with creating the perfect temporal agent.
  2. Robertson researches medical textbooks and finds a case of a woman with full male parts.
  3. He travels back in time, kidnaps the baby from the parents, and takes her to an orphanage in 1945 (well within the 53 year limit).
  4. Robertson travels to 1960 to recruit Jane from the orphanage for SpaceCorps where she is impregnated.
  5. Her pregnancy results in a C-section, hysterectomy, and a reconstruction of her male organs.
  6. Robertson steals her baby and kills it. She falls into a depression. She hates her life.
  7. Robertson meets Jane in 1970 after her sperm starts working and offers her a second chance at life. He takes her back to 1964 so that she can impregnate herself and be in “full control of her life”.
  8. 1964 Jane has the baby, has emergency surgery, is reconstructed, and Robertson steals her baby.
  9. Robertson takes the baby back to 1945.

Option 2

  1. The original Jane was born with male and female parts and given to the orphanage by her original parents in 1945
  2. Robertson worked for SpaceCorp, which was an organization who recruited from hookers and orphanages in the 60’s
  3. While the Original Jane was at SpaceCorp, doctors revealed to Robertson her unique anatomy and she was rejected
  4. In 1981 time travel is invented and Robertson is asked to find someone suitable to be a temporal agent
  5. Robertson remembers Original Jane who by 1981 has already had a child ‘naturally’ and been reconstructed as a man, Original John
  6. Original John hates his life, has a child, and is struggling to make ends meet.
  7. Robertson recruits Original John with the promise he can help him fix his life before it went wrong.
  8. Robertson goes with Original John back to 1964 in Cleveland and guides him to Original Jane, thereby changing history.
  9. Original John impregnates Original Jane, which creates a 2nd Jane Doe, but with the same DNA and unique anatomy.
  10. Original Jane Doe is killed.
  11. Robertson steals 2nd Jane Doe from nursery and takes her back to 1945.

Possible Problems

The problem is that they both result in 2 babies being in 1945. The problem is that if you kill one, neither timeline can happen. This move has at least 3 paradoxes that I can count. Now I will see what others are saying and post that below these 2 options.

Possible Explanations

There are multiple babies and they are all temporal agents. Bartender John mentions there are 11. That could mean there are 11 loops of himself. Not sure.

Summary Explanation

The irony is that Jane thinks Robertson was her redeemer, when in reality he was her destroyer.

Other People’s Ideas

The following 2 ideas are from Reddit and Quora:

http://www.reddit.com/r/movies/comments/2nhhou/did_i_understand_the_plot_of_predestination/

It could make sense if the original Jane was born to parents and then had a sex change due to some other occurrence and becomes John. Robertson makes John a temporal agent who eventually becomes the Fizzle bomber due to psychosis. Then, Robertson has the Fizzle bomber go back and procreated with him/herself. Then, Robertson also has the Fizzle bomber take the baby back to the orphanage. Thus the paradox begins. The Fizzle bomber then retires. So, Robertson goes back to recruit Jane/John after the post-birthing sex change. That John’s new job is to hunt down and stop the Fizzle bomber. That John becomes John(Ethan) due to his brush up with the Fizzle bomber. John(Ethan) is now asked to go back and procreate with the Jane that was birthed by the Fizzle bomber and past Jane and to then take that baby back to the orphanage. John(Ethan) forgets that he was once the other John. He is then asked to go back to the bar and help John(the one who he had a baby with) go back to meet Jane. The movie then unfolds from here.

http://digestivepyrotechnics.blogspot.com/2014/12/predestination-plot-explained.html

Barkeep makes one “illegal” jump to intercept the event that causes John to burn his face. However, Barkeep causes the confusion that ends up John burning his face.

I think there are 11 versions of John. When John asks Barkeep how many temporal agents are there? He responds with ‘there are 11 of us’ and goes on to say that we were all ‘born into it’. Each time he takes the baby back in time a new Jane/John is created.

What Really Happened in Jake Gyllenhaal’s Enemy Movie?

***Major Spoiler Alert***Do not read this if you don’t want the movie spoiled for you. It contains major spoilers.

enemy-movie

We have met the enemy and he is us.” –Pogo by Walt Kelly, 1971

What Really Happened in Jake Gyllenhaal’s Enemy Movie?

In Enemy, both men (Adam and Anthony) are same man, a married history professor who acts on the side, and fantasizes about having an affair. In the end of the movie, in his fantasy, his girlfriend is killed, but he quickly turns back to his old ways (represented by the most scary movie ending of all time, the giant spider).

Who is his girlfriend?

The girlfriend is not real. When the door buzzes, he doesn’t get up, he goes into his head. She brings over food to his crappy apartment, hangs out, then leaves without a word. It’s all a fantasy.

How do I know they are the same man?

When the two men meet, the first meet the room they meet in is number “221”, which means “two to one”. His mother says he has “a nice apartment, a good job” and that he should quit his dream of acting. When he is with his wife, she asks, “How was school?” She asks him about having an affair.

Reasons why they might not be the same man?

Blueberries – He tells his wife he wants blueberries, but he tells his mother he doesn’t like blueberries.

Unknown Name/Location to Wife? – Anthony makes up the name “Adam Bell” and writes it on a note for his wife to find. She Googles it, goes to the school, and he meets her there (as Adam), but acts (he likes to act) like he doesn’t know her. She can’t believe how far he’s going to perpetuate this fantasy.

Where does he actually live? Which apartment?

In the beginning of the movie we hear Adam’s mother’s voicemail where she sounds Russian like the other guy’s mother where she asks of his “new” apartment “how can you live like that?” and then we see a picture of the pregnant wife sitting on the bed in Adam’s apartment. She only refers to him as “Darling,” but he’s clearly sitting in Adam’s Volvo.

There are two apartments, one “good” and one “bad”. Because he’s a school teacher and acts on the side, because of the way his mother described it (“how can you live like that?”), and because of the shot of his pregnant wife in the background, it’s more likely that he and his wife actually live in the bad one.

Although in the movie, the times we see his wife she in the “good” apartment. This could mean the nice apartment is a fantasy too. But in the movie, his mind places his girlfriend/affair in the bad/real apartment and his actual wife in his good/fake apartment. This could mean he wishes he could provide more to his wife.

How do we know when we’re in a fantasy and when we’re in real life?

There is a definite yellow hue when we see Adam, the school teacher who is with the “girlfriend” in the “bad” apartment and a more ‘normal’, white light when we see Anthony, the actor and his “good” apartment, but this isn’t like the green tint in The Matrix movies. It doesn’t necessarily mean that one is fantasy and the other is real because both have elements of each.

One ‘totem’ (to use Inception vocabulary) is his wedding ring (which just happened to be Cobb’s totem). Adam, the school teacher, doesn’t wear it, but Anthony, the actor does (except for when he’s playing Adam towards the end of the movie – it’s also partially responsible for the ‘crash’ that kills his girlfriend and ‘ends’ the affair).

If this topic interests you, read about more movies that question reality.

What are some motifs in the film?

Hallways – the beginning of the film starts with Adam walking down the hallway with a key while a guard walks behind him. When he sneaks into his own apartment, he doesn’t have the key and has the same security guard behind him who does have the key. These scenes are shot very specifically for the audience to draw the connection between the unknown guy at the beginning of the film at the club and his security guard, but you’d have to watch it again to fully get the connection.

Is there any other scenes that we’re exactly as they appeared in the movie?

In the teacher’s lounge, Adam is asked: “Are you a movie guy? In your free time I mean?” Adam responds, “I don’t know,”, but what I postulate is that the guy asking isn’t real. Here’s why: Adam tells him about a movie he’s recently seen recently that he really liked that he just happened to be in: “Where There’s a Will There’s a Way”.

On his way home he stops by a movie store to see if they have that movie, but they don’t have it. He ends up watching it anyway because he already owns a copy. Even the actor uses a fake name: Daniel Saint Claire. His real name is Anthony Claire.

What are some symbols used in Enemy?

Street Art – On his way home from work, he passes by a mural with the same man drawn multiple times. Behind that mural is the movie store.

Video Cameras – Even the security cameras don’t follow him around. When Adam is checking out Anthony’s apartment, he looks at the security cameras. If he didn’t want to be seen, he should have looked down, not directly at them for so long The director specifically decided to include them in the movie as the shot pans to include them and shows Adam staring at them as he walked by. As an actor, this is a symbol for how he’s not on camera (not working as an actor) as much as he wants to be.

Phones – Adam has a cell phone. He ignores it when his mother is calling at his apartment, but picks it up when Anthony calls him at school, but when he’s calling his wife’s apartment he uses a pay phone first and then a land line at his apartment. Pay phones are often used during affairs, which was highlighted in the movie by the same name.

Any other reasons why Adam and Anthony are the same person?

  • He calls his wife to act like a stalker to sow seeds of doubt about someone calling later on. He’s not home when she calls because he is him.
  • When she visits him at school she calls his cell phone, he answers, but he’s out of sight.
  • When Adam calls Anthony he says he spoke to his “wife”, but how did he know she was his wife?
  • What does the director of the movie think the film is about?

    The director states it’s about a man who decides to leave his mistress and go back to his pregnant wife. I don’t think he actually had two apartments or that he actually left his wife. I think he was just absent from her emotionally. Here’s why: After he turns off the radio after hearing about the accident from his fantasy. He wakes up when thinking about his affair and tells his wife, “I’m sorry.”

    What do you think happened in Enemy?