A key component in “Edge of Tomorrow” is the gnarly exoskeletons — or Combat Jackets — worn by military personnel during the European Mimic invasion. Ostensibly a giant weapon, these suits form around the user, allowing them to run faster, jump higher, lift heavier objects, avoid damage, and detect danger. These exoskeletons, equipped with a high-caliber rifle and a pair of rocket launchers, are the perfect counter to the alien force.
Liman’s production crew designed the Combat Jacket to ensure maximum realism by “combining 275 custom-made components, plus another 150 pieces of hardware, all taken from concept to final product in 26 weeks,” according to Entertainment Weekly. Since each suit weighed 85 to 135 pounds, actors didn’t have to fake their performance.
“When you see the movie, the action looks authentic because we were genuinely put on wires and flipped around wearing these enormous suits,” Blunt told EW.
To aid their movements, the crew hooked the actors to cables that allowed them to pull off the breathtaking action seen in the finished film. When Blunt’s character launches into a spinning jump, you see a practical stunt utilizing wires, about a dozen crew members, and a little camera trickery. The struggle is by design.
“These are meant to look like military pieces of hardware, not a refined piece of engineering,” costume designer Pierre Bohanna told EW. “They’re brash, quickly-made pieces of equipment. So you’ve got to see the guys struggling in them.”