When it comes to sci-fi imaginings of near-future military combat, exoskeletons are quickly becoming the fashion statement du jour. Matt Damon was kitted out in one for Neill Blomkamp's Elysium, gamers will get to take them for a spin in Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, and Tom Cruise's character Bill Cage will get to stumble around in one uselessly before immediately getting smeared across the landscape by an alien in upcoming time-warp war movie Edge of Tomorrow.
That's not the end of Bill Cage, however. After being killed, he wakes up before his first (and last) day in battle and finds himself doomed to repeat it. His only way out is to keep dying over and over again until he eventually becomes skilled enough to somehow win the battle. It's basically Dark Souls: The Movie.
Directed by Doug Liman (The Bourne Identity), Edge of Tomorrow has an intriguing premise with a lot of potential. The film co-stars Emily Blunt as Rita Vrataski, warrior and poster-child for the human military forces, and is based on the novel "All You Need Is Kill" by Hiroshi Sakurazaka. An extended IMAX trailer for Edge of Tomorrow has now been released, and offers a fairly comprehensive summary of the central concept as well as unlocking seven additional featurettes about the characters, technology and sci-fi elements involved.
Check out the IMAX trailer above, and the featurettes below:
Real-life exoskeletons (or, at least, the current prototypes) are designed to give the wearer boosted strength and stamina. Cruise's exoskeleton, however, was non-functional and therefore had the opposite effect, giving him an additional 85-90lbs to carry around during all of his stunts and action scenes. As the behind-the-scenes featurettes for Bill Cage and Rita Vrataski show, the illusion of futuristic combat was created using a combination of wire work and green screens, and required some pretty hardcore training.
If there's one main criticism to be made of the footage for Edge of Tomorrow so far, it's that the film doesn't look visually interesting in a way that would distinguish it from a hundred and one other sci-fi action movies. In some ways it looks reminiscent of Tom Cruise's last sci-fi movie, Oblivion, which looked very polished (at times it could easily be mistaken for a perfume commercial) and featured some very cool designs for futuristic technology, but was let down by its dull palette and thin story.
The idea that Bill has the same "reset" power as the aliens opens up the potential for them to play a kind of elaborate, four-dimensional game of chess, but it remains to be seen whether Liman will make the best possible use of that idea. In the trailers so far the emphasis has been kept quite heavily on the action and fight sequences, so it would be gratifying to find a more cerebral movie hidden underneath all the clanging noises and explosions.
Edge of Tomorrow is out in theaters on June 6, 2014.