The Edge of Tomorrow: preview and Q&A with director Doug Liman
Doug Liman lives in New York City and hangs out with an “artsy” crowd who usually spend their time discussing esoteric subjects at trendy parties in bohemian Williamsburg, Brooklyn. It is for this reason, he explains, that he often finds himself defending the Hollywood blockbuster movies for which he has become known. For instance his new film, The Edge of Tomorrow, is a sci-fi adaptation of a Japanese novel (All You Need Is Kill by Hiroshi Sakurazaka) filled with explosive special effects and starring Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt. The mainstream appeal may give the impression of a robust and predictable action plot, but as Liman is keen to put across, there is a lot more to appreciate in a film that is made by the same man who brought us Swingers.
Indeed, it is Liman’s belief that following The Bourne Identity, where he constantly fought the studio system every step of the way to produce an original yet hugely successful film, he was given much more creative leeway here. Indeed, clearly aware of the power of the director’s “brand”, Warner Brothers were convinced he was being too conventional and hilariously “not Doug Liman enough”.
The plot centres on Bill Cage, a reluctant Lieutenant in the US army who, after an encounter with a fiercely antagonistic alien, develops the ability to come back to life, thus forcing him to relive the same day over again multiple times. He partners Rita Vrataski, a Special Forces soldier and both utilise his new found skill in order to vanquish the alien race, known as Mimics.
The preview suggested a well-rounded movie which provides thrilling action scenes, yes, but also a well-told, especially funny story. For Cruise, Liman explained, it was a new role, which is surprising considering the volume of big budget films he has appeared in. However, although he has played many an action role, the character of Cage is a reluctant hero.
In addition, although there is a romantic element to his relationship with Blunt’s character (and many may balk at the age difference), there is an unpredictable outcome – Vrataski is refreshingly intelligent, mentally as well as physically strong. In fact, Liman describes her astuteness as the other superpower in the story, alongside Cage’s ability to come back to life. This all helps to tell, as Liman did with Mr and Mrs Smith and The Bourne Identity, a story about “real human beings in extraordinary situations”.
The Edge of Tomorrow is released nationwide on the 30th May 2014.
Watch the trailer for The Edge of Tomorrow here: