When I picture Tom Cruise watching these younger pups in the Fast and Furious franchise running and gunning, I see a guy who constantly tells himself, “I need to up my game.” With the latest Mission Impossible, Rogue Nation, Cruise is simply heading back out to the tee, grabbing his driver and blasting another ball down the fairway. Nothing stops Cruise from being a man of action and that includes death defying stunts. Bigger, crazier and more “holy smokes” styled.
No actor in Hollywood does stunts like Tom Cruise. When 99 percent of actors call for their stunt double or check with agent for clearance, Tom just does it. Why? He is his own entity. Cruise produces, backs, thinks up and generates every movie he is in. He’s the ship and not just the engine. Hate the man for his religious choices, personal values or the way he lives his life, but he’s very very good at his job and that’s making quality entertaining movies.
In the latest Mission flick, Cruise and his team of spies(Simon Pegg, Ving Rhames, and Jeremy Renner) are catching flak from their superior(Alec Baldwin) for being too exposed or sloppy. Things worsen when a rival agency called the Syndicate takes aim at Cruise’s Ethan Hunt, and that essentially turns his crew into outsiders looking in. This of course cues the theme music, “one last time” anthem and outrageous stunts.
While the supporting cast is stellar and newcomer beauty Rebecca Ferguson will make the screen smolder, Cruise is the draw here. He always has been with all of his films. The trailer starts off with him hanging onto the side of a plane as it takes off. Next, he leaps off a pole that was holding him hostage to deliver some bone crunching blows. Midway through, he is racing a motorcycle between semi trucks on a narrow road above a canyon while being chased. Next, he pulls a U-turn on a thin street and takes out two cars before capping it all off by diving deep into a body of water to defuse or steal something without an oxygen tank. Just another day at the office for our rogue hero.
Throughout the Mission films, Cruise is the fresh ingredient and that’s because he cares about his work. Look right or left in Hollywood and actors take the easy way out or phone in a performance for a paycheck. Cruise only makes money off the back end of his films. If they do well, he gets paid well. If not, it’s on to the next adventure. He makes it work. People said he couldn’t play Jack Reacher because the novel version embodied a man of the Rock’s size? Well, he knocked that role out of the park. Last year, Edge of Tomorrow tried to combine Groundhog Day with Aliens and the D-Day invasion and he not only made it work but churned some comedy out of the ordeal.
When the world isn’t knocking Cruise, they are seeing his movies all over the world. Few movie stars make films that gross as much as Cruise’s films do overseas. He constantly challenges himself and that makes his flicks watchable. Usually, when a franchise cranks out its fifth entry, a few head shakes are in order. Not with the Mission films. Cruise never lets it go stale and yes it’s his baby, his ship and his way. Without that, it doesn’t work. Oh, I’m sorry, were you wanting to go watch Adam Sandler in Pixels first?
If you respect entertaining cinema that can be sustained over many years, you’ll appreciate Tom Cruise. He may be a little unhinged in real life or he could merely represented that way. Instead of drawing a conclusion from an US Weekly article, wash away the negative thoughts and just watch this trailer. Cruise is 53 years old and still treats show business like a playground.