Tom Cruise heads back to the future in the sci-fi thriller Edge of Tomorrow, which gets its first official theatrical preview today. The film costars Emily Blunt (Into the Woods) and Bill Paxton (2 Guns) as human soldiers in a not-too-distant futuristic war against invading aliens. The twist on this familiar genre scenario? Cruise's protagonist is killed in battle, then gets caught in a time loop that allows him to re-experience his final day as a breathing person, over and over - gaining in skill as he does so.
Edge of Tomorrow is based on Hiroshi Sakurazaka's light novel All You Need Is Kill and was co-adapted for the big screen by the likes of big-shot screenwriters Christopher McQuarrie (Jack Reacher) and Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci (The Amazing Spider-Man 2), though its premise sounds more like an amalgamation of Hollywood sci-fi titles; Source Code and Starship Troopers, to be exact.
During the movie's 2013 Comic-Con presentation, Paxton indicated that Edge of Tomorrow has more of that Starship Troopers-style irony and self-aware humor than you might expect, judging by the dead serious atmosphere and verisimilitude of the trailer footage and the viral marketing imagery unveiled thus far.
That seems all the more believable when you recall that the first official image - showing Cruise wearing a mechanical suit/armored exoskeleton that (in real life) weighed 85 lbs. on average - made the A-lister look a bit goofy and flustered; as opposed to, being intimidating in motion.
He's easier to take serious in the latest Edge of Tomorrow screenshots, which you can view in the gallery below (via USA Today):
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Blunt (as you may've noticed) worked out extensively to prepare for her role, as her character Rita Vrataski - a one-woman killing machine known in the source material as "The Full Metal B**ch" - starts out in the story as very much the superior to Cruise's Lt. Col. Bill Cage: a military PR man who, through an unfortunate turn of events, get tossed head-first into battle.
That central character dynamic is an intriguing variation on your average male-female action buddy couple (see: Dredd, for a good example), which could help to make Edge of Tomorrow more than the sum of its (admittedly) derivative parts.
Indeed, Cruise indicated to USA Today that it was the unconventional setup for Edge of Tomorrow that convinced him to join forces with director Doug Liman (The Bourne Identity) and make another sci-fi film (following on the heels of this year's Oblivion):
"Look, I make all different kinds of movies. When Doug (Liman) came to me and said what the story was and the design, I thought, 'This is going to be cool. It's going to be very different than anything I've done before.'"
Oblivion is a film that's been criticized as cutting a little too close to its sci-fi predecessors for inspiration, yet it (arguably) has a strong human story at its core, which brings greater depth to its familiar sci-fi tropes and action/effects. Hopefully, Edge of Tomorrow will have the same narrative quality to recommend itself, since the gritty filmmaking style and eye-catching visuals featured in the trailer seem pretty top-notch.
On the other hand, Liman has earned something of a reputation for producing films that fall short of the full potential of their premises - a little with Mr. and Mrs. Smith; a lot with Jumper - so, we shall have to wait and see...
Edge of Tomorrow opens in U.S. theaters on June 6th, 2014.
Source: USA Today