"Groundhog Day" meets Tom Cruise's own "Oblivion" (and maybe a little bit of "Source Code" and "Elysium" thrown in there as well) in "Edge of Tomorrow," one of next summer's sci-fi extravaganzas and the latest action vehicle conjured to prove that Maverick's still got what it takes as he plunges head-first into his 50s.
If the first trailer is any indication, Cruise is most definitely still an Action Star as he takes on the role of Lt. Col. Bill Cage, a United Defense Force recruit fighting a war against a mysterious alien race known as the Mimics (not to be confused with the same-named cockroachy critters in the 1997 Mira Sorvino sci-fi flick). Cage is killed in an airborne ambush, though he soon finds himself in a random time loop that forces him to continually return to his fatal battle.
How the heck does one get out of such a conundrum? Maybe Emily Blunt, as a Special Forces soldier, can help — she knows a thing or two about this sort of thing from her time in "Looper," after all.
Actually, the trailer for "Edge of Tomorrow" spends little time dwelling on its harrowing time-bending premise, instead showcasing some pretty impressive sci-fi action scenes featuring Cruise and Blunt in "Elysium"-like mech suits that allow them to do cool things like punch moving cars. The exoskeletons are a bit sleeker than the makeshift job worn by Matt Damon in director Neill Blomkamp's summer film, and they're nowhere near as laughable as the goofy contraptions worn by Channing Tatum and company in "G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra" (2009).
However, despite all of the big-budget razzle-dazzle (courtesy of "The Bourne Identity" director Doug Liman and his top-notch tech team), the tone of the trailer is somewhat melancholy, recalling last spring's underrated "Oblivion" (Cruise's other recent sci-fi film in which his character faces one doozy of an existential crisis) as an electronically manipulated voice sadly sings "This is not the end ..." on the soundtrack (a remix of the Claire Maguire song of the same title, perhaps?).
"Edge of Tomorrow" is based on something with a much cooler title: "All You Need Is Kill," a Japanese light novel (the Japanese term for "Young Adult," more or less) by Hiroshi Sakurazaka originally published in December 2004. The book proved to be Sakurazaka's breakthrough work and was entered in contention for the Seiun Awards, Japan's counterpart to the Nebula Award.
"Edge of Tomorrow" opens June 6, 2014.