It makes perfect sense that the Sci-fi genre is quickly becoming de rigueur for the big-budget summer posters Hollywood seems to chunder out by the bushel. In our contemporary world where we all keep personal computers in our pockets, ride Segways to work, and nurture electronic pets via Tamagotchi devices, the high-concept conceits envisioned in these posters are increasingly palatable and oddly familiar. Such is Edge of Tomorrow, a revisionist future that imagines a world where the Nintendo Power Glove has been extrapolated to it’s obvious dystopian conclusion.
Who would have thought that a simple and impractical exo-suit that leaves most of the vital organs exposed could be so effective at providing entertainment? If there’s one thing you can count on it’s the entertainment factor of the military. There’s not much going on in this poster but the things it does include are a real “thrill rush.” In fact, for this humble reviewer just seeing a couple of sweet exoskeletons is enough to keep me entertained for hours. Good performances, logical storytelling, convincing human drama: anything else in the poster is just icing on my mouth-dripping poster cake.
At the start of this poster we’re confronted by the stenciled title card “Live. Die. Repeat,” a hilarious riff on the old shower aphorism “Lather. Rinse. Repeat.” Of course we’ve all followed the former set of instructions every single time we’re in the shower, repeating the steps over and over until our putrid scalp has been rendered “clean.” But when you break down this command it’s actually quite absurd: (1) Live. Sure I can do that I’m doing it right now! (2) Die. Hey, Don’t wanna but I guess I have to! Thanks for the reminder that my time on Earth is incredibly fleeting (sarcasm)! (But then) (3) Repeat (!?) Repeat living and dying? Like, more than one time? This is making my head spin… and this is just the beginning!
Of course, the real golden goose of the poster is the futuristic military equipment, which is in full display. The effect is intensive and intense: one can’t help but imagine the percussive possibilities if one had a couple drumsticks to tap upon these two. Cruise, a graduate of the Stella Adler school of scowling, is suited with your standard issue battle armor which includes all sorts of Blue Man Group props: chimes, zithers, straws, and multiple slide whistles. Emily Blunt’s armor choices both flattering and functional, the golden ratio of fashion. Even though she’s in a war she’s still able to forego the bulky protective leg gear clearly essential to Tom Cruise’s suit in favor of a svelte and minimal leg accouterment that flatters the feminine figure. And rather than bulky arm & shoulder accentuation that would give her the silhouette of a man (very unbecoming of a lady in battle), she has been afforded slender hydraulic couture that ingeniously both protects and calls attention to her breasts. Rather than equipping the projectile weapons that are the very purpose of Cruise’s suit, Blunt instead wields a ridiculous Final Fantasy 7 sword that is broad enough to bake a loaf of french bread upon. Although it must weigh half her body weight she’s still able to heft it with her unassisted fingers and presumably swing it all around in combat more effectively than if she were just really far away from the enemy and shooting them, as most war has been conducted for the past couple centuries.
In the background we see a few Halo cosplayers sloshing through the muck as if to say “What are you two doing out in this war without even a helmet? Look at our gear, it protects our head, our face, our whole torso and groin, plus we have flashlights on our shoulders; now compare it to what you’re wearing. You need to go home right now and not come back until you are dressed appropriately for a city-leveling battle.” In the sky above them are legions of futuristic drone planes that are all thinking in their computer minds “Why don’t all those people just go home, this is the future where we have plenty of robots to do all the fighting for us.”
Another great source of entertainment is the destruction of antique cities. Back there in the distance one can see the Arc de Triomphe, which holds a special place in all our hearts because we glanced at it and took a photo on our way to see the much more impressive Eiffel tower. What image could be more a more potent totem for the flux of time than the famous Legoesque architecture resonating with ambivalence as the city both burns and floods simultaneously. No image, which makes it a great choice for this poster. In fact, like the Arc de Triomphe, this poster is an icon that will be relevant for generations. Aside from Elysium, Avatar, Aliens, District 9, Matrix Revolutions, Iron Man, Sucker Punch, The Lego Movie, Pacific Rim, The Power Rangers, and thousands of anime cartoons, this is definitely the coolest battle armor I’ve ever seen in my awesome life.
8 out of 9 stars, highly recommend.
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