Can a single image change your entire perception of a film? With its lackluster title and the accomplished, but far from peerless Doug Liman at the helm, All You Need Is Kill has been far from my most-anticipated list. Tonight, however, the first look at the film has arrived, featuring star Tom Cruise on set in a mech suit narrowly escaping an explosion.

While this is no indication of the final project, this adaptation of Hiroshi Sakurazaka‘s Japanese novel surely has my interest piqued, if only to see this proven action star attempting something far removed from his Ethan Hunt antics. The film also features Emily Blunt, Bill Paxton and Charlotte Riley and one can check out the image below thanks to Anime News Network, followed by an extensive synopsis.

The story unfolds in a near future in which a hive-like alien race, called Mimics, have hit the Earth in an unrelenting assault, shredding great cities to rubble and leaving millions of human casualties in their wake. No army in the world can match the speed, brutality or seeming prescience of the weaponized Mimic fighters or their telepathic commanders. But now the world’s armies have joined forces for a last stand offensive against the alien horde, with no second chances.

Lt. Col. Bill Cage (Cruise) is an officer who has never seen a day of combat when he is unceremoniously demoted and then dropped—untrained and ill-equipped—into what amounts to little more than a suicide mission. Cage is killed within minutes, managing to take an Alpha down with him. But, impossibly, he awakens back at the beginning of the same hellish day, and is forced to fight and die again…and again. Direct physical contact with the alien has thrown him into a time loop—dooming him to live out the same brutal combat over and over.

But with each pass, Cage becomes tougher, smarter, and able to engage the Mimics with increasing skill, alongside Special Forces warrior Rita Vrataski (Blunt), who has lain waste to more Mimics than anyone on Earth. As Cage and Rita take the fight to the aliens, each repeated battle becomes an opportunity to find the key to annihilating the alien invaders and saving the Earth.

All You Need Is Kill arrives on March 14th, 2014.

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