Cruise has made his share of notable science fiction movies, even if his last outing, Oblivion, left something to be desired. Edge of Tomorrow stands up with the best of his work in our favored genre, up along side of Steven Spielberg’s Minority Report. Based on a Philip K. Dick short story, Cruise plays a futuristic police officer who finds himself accused of a murder that he hasn’t committed yet, and must find a way to extricate himself from the situation. How do you stop yourself from doing something you haven’t done yet, but are destined to do?
Characters dealing with time fluctuations in a unique way form the primary uniting element between these two films. Well, that and Tom Cruise running, because he spends a fair amount of time running in nearly every movie he’s ever made. More than most massive celebrities, Cruise has an affinity for science fiction. Will Smith is about the only other star on that level that regularly turns out big time science fiction, though his highs in this realm have never equaled Cruise’s.
The Matrix is one of the most influential science fiction movies of this generation, the impact of the Wachowski’s breakthrough film—before that their only directorial effort was the erotic heist film Bound—can be seen in countless genre offerings. Where this influence is most visible in Edge of Tomorrow is in the creature design of the aliens.
The Mimics have a jittery motion as they bounce around the battlefield, but physically they definitely resemble the sentinels from all three of the Matrix movies. Looking like severed heads with a crazy trail of dreadlocks, the way the Mimics move, burrow through the ground, and even tear through the outer skin of the United Defense Force vehicles, owes a huge debt to the Wachowski siblings. Even the way they pause, with their tentacles flaring up behind them, like a cat puffing itself up to look big, is reminiscent of those mechanical entities that always seemed a little too sinister to simply be unfeeling machines.