Japan Today

All you need is Cruise

By Chris Betros

Hollywood megastar Tom Cruise did something unique in Japan last week. Instead of walking the red carpet greeting fans before the Japan premiere at Roppongi Hills in Tokyo, he did it in reverse. They showed the film first, and then he walked the red carpet so he could spend a couple of hours with his fans, signing autographs and posing for photos.

It's typical of Cruise, who turns 52 on Thursday. More than any other star, Cruise always makes sure he has plenty of time to interact with his fans when he visits Japan -- which he has been doing every year for the past 20 years.

During last week's visit to promote his new sci-fi film, “Edge of Tomorrow,” which is being released in Japan with the title “All You Need Is Kill," Cruise, director Doug Liman and producer Erin Stoff traveled over 1,770 kilometers in one day, flying from Osaka to Fukuoka to Tokyo, greeting fans.

"It's been a remarkable visit," Cruise said at a news conference in Tokyo. "I never get tired in Japan, no matter how little sleep I get. The fans energize me."

"All You Need Is Kill" has a special relevance to Japan. It is based on Hiroshi Sakurazaka's extremely popular science fiction novel which took young Japanese readers by storm when it was published in 2004. The novel was later serialized in a weekly magazine as a manga adaptation in 2014. Cruise plays a soldier named Cage who is caught in a time loop. After being killed in a war with alien invaders, Cage wakes up only to be killed and sent back to the same battle over and over again. Each time Cage wakes up and returns to fight the alien aggressors, he becomes a stronger and more capable solider.

Making a film based on a Japanese novel is always a big challenge in Hollywood, but Stoff and Liman said that as soon as Cruise signed on, it became a lot easier. Cruise said they all wondered how the Hollywood treatment of the novel would be received in Japan. But he said the story had a lot of appealing factors.

"I think that it is a original story, which is hard to find these days," he said. "It also has an unusual love story. We all challenged ourselves every step of the way, working as a team, because at the end of the day, if you don't have a good character-driven story, then it is just loud action with special effects."

Cruise said he always tries to watch one movie a day because he loves storytelling. "I want audiences of my films to feel the same way," he said. "I hope they leave the theater, really having enjoyed the film."

Cruise was also full of praise for co-star, British actress Emily Blunt. "I've seen a lot of her work and she is a talented and intelligent actress with a great range. It was fun working with her. It's the only time I ever worked with an actress who got to kill me hundreds of times. I've never been shot in the head by a woman before," he quipped.

The busy actor said he'll be back in Japan very soon. He is already in pre-production for “Mission: Impossible 5” and has a further three films in the pipeline – “Van Helsing,” “Top Gun 2” and “Jack Reacher: Never Go Back.”

"All You Need Is Kill" opens in Japan on July 4.

© Japan Today

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Question #1

Are Japanese viewers so simple minded that the Japanese movie industry needs to change every movie title? Do we really need to know the plot or the climax in the title?

Question #2

Does Tom Cruise realize that his cookie-cutter movies are no longer popular anymore? He plays the same character in every movie no matter the setting. He should get out of his comfort zone and play some supporting roles again.

The last movie I enjoyed with Tom Cruise was Ben Stiller's "Tropic Thunder".

-13 ( +5 / -18 )

Good on Tom nice to see someone spend time with the fans. Makes them feel a little closer and keeps them as fans.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

A handsome man, even in his fifties. I can appreciate that.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Are Japanese viewers so simple minded that the Japanese movie industry needs to change every movie title?

You got it backwards. All You Need Is Kill is the original title of the novel the movie is based on. So, Hollywood changed the title.

16 ( +16 / -0 )

@ knowitall

I see your point! It still begs the question do Japanese movie and drama watchers need to be told the the plot or climax in every title?

Waterboys Freeta buys a house Wood boy

Not to mention most if not all American made movies.

-7 ( +1 / -8 )

Well, I saw the movie last weekend, (in Japan) and it was surprisingly good. In fact, I think it's now my favorite Tom Cruise movie, close with War Of The Worlds (but then again I'm partial to sci fi).

Great story, great acting, GREAT editing. All in all good flick.

I'm glad Cruise is still making those movies.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

I've heard really good things about this movie and I can't wait to watch it. It's a little sad it didn't take with American audiences as it would have shown that it's OK to do an action movie that's not a remake or RandomSequel 3. You may think his movies are cookie-cutter (I don't think that's the case, personally), but at least with him you're guaranteed to have an enjoyable time.

4 ( +5 / -1 )


If you look again in the article he is making more remakes and sequels. He last few movies haven't done well with American audiences because he is just cookie cutting like I said earlier. He maybe appreciated abroad but it is usually for different reasons. This maybe a good movie but the fact it is written by a Japanese author will have more to do with its success.

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

This movie underperformed in the US box office, but the foreign box office will save it.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

"re Japanese viewers so simple minded that the Japanese movie industry needs to change every movie title? Do we really need to know the plot or the climax in the title?" huh. All you need is kill is the orignal title. and way cooler then Edge of Tomorrow. The movie title changed for the WEST and only recently. I have been exicted about this movie for a long time, back when it was called All you Need is Kill everywhere.

"Does Tom Cruise realize that his cookie-cutter movies are no longer popular anymore? He plays the same character in every movie no matter the setting. He should get out of his comfort zone and play some supporting roles again." Huh. What are you talking about it? I saw this movie last night and it was amazing. anything but cookie cutter and IMDB, Metacritic, and Rotten Tomatoes are all showing REALLY high marks for this movie. why are you being such a hater?

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Regardless of where the title comes from it is annoyingly incorrect. 'All you need' should be followed by a noun-not a verb... In terms of the title of the article it is highly debatable as to whether all one needs is a scientologist who churns out multi-million dollar mono-dimensional Tinsel Town tripe.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

All you need is kill --> Say it quickly a few times and you will get why Sakurazaka decided on the title in English.

All you need is skill.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

No, thank you.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Emily Blunt, be careful. Bride number 3?

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

American audiences probably heard the plot line and said, " 'Groundhog Day' derivative." As "Groundhog Day" was released in 1993 and the "All You Need is Kill" novel was published in 2004, you could make a good argument that the novel is derivative as well. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, though. There was an essay in this Sunday's Washington Post that points out even some of Shakespeare's works were derivative:


0 ( +1 / -1 )

Like him or hate him, he still makes a large multiple of your annual salary and looks younger than anyone on this board will at 52. I'm sure he's just crying his way all the way to the bank at a few straggling comments on a Japan-focused site.

Plus his total box office pull is enormous for all his movies - not that they're bad at all.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Cruise has had a kind of "special relationship" with Japan going back at least to "The Last Samurai" in 2003. That movie made quite an impact with the casting of big-name Japanese stars like Koyuki and Watanabe Ken in a major English-language film for the first time. I remember how, at the end of the movie with the final defeat of Japanese forces who had been resisting the modernizing national government, there were so many teary-eyed audience members in the movie theater in Japan where I watched the film. That was really amazing to witness, as Japanese moviegoers have a reputation for being stone-cold silent and unemotional.

I bet Cruise likes Japan as well because his religious faith is a non-issue in the country and most people in Japan neither care about nor judge him for believing in Scientology. Compare this to countries like Germany, where Cruise was nearly expelled or something like that while filming Valkyrie.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

If you want to watch it, go ahead. And if you don't want to, then don't go, who cares if you like jim or not.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I was also wondering why they obviously changed the title of this production (I didn't know the film anyway since I'm not interested in American cinema), but if that's the title of the original work, fair enough! Glad I got this, and since the plot sounds interesting and since there are few Hollywood films based on Japanese fiction (that are not remakes of already existing adaptions), I could as well give it a try.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Cookiecutter? If it works it works.i like his films, not him but him as an actor.

I loved the movie!! It was great

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I don't suppose people would ever think TC took a percentage of the film's box office and that was one big reason he came to Japan besides shaking hands and signing autographs as many actors do. Good business minded no doubt.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

This game is remarkably similar to the movie as far as rewinding time is concerned.

I bought it back this game back in mid-2011 and promptly forgot about it but the new Tom Cruise movie "Edge of Tomorrow," caused me to take another look at it because the game mechanic involves rewinding time.


0 ( +0 / -0 )

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