Where Have All The Good Tom Cruise’s Gone?

Posted: June 19, 2012 in Movies

If you’re a wanna-be movie critic like myself, you’ve seen the trailers for Rock of Ages and thought to yourself, “god that looks awful”.  Then you re-examine the trailer and realize that Tom Cruise is in the film and he’s playing a character called “Stacee Jax” – a big-haired 80’s rocker singing Bon Jovi songs.  Like I said, dear lord.

It’s been a roughly 7 year span for Tom Cruise as he’s seemingly transformed from the true definition of a “movie star” to just another Hollywood actor that draws a big crowd.  Come to think of it, there are really only one or two real “movie stars” left in show business today and sadly, Tom Cruise is not one of them.  The man has only had one film since 2006, where he’s starred (Tropic Thunder withstanding) that has grossed more than $100M domestically at the box office.  That film was Mission Impossible – Ghost Protocol, which grossed over $200M.  Before Ghost Protocol his last big film was Mission Impossible 3, which made $134M domestically.

Cruise, like I said, used to be a true “movie star” – the guy had a run of seven films from the year 2000 to 2006 that grossed $100M+ at the box office.  The only other modern day actor to have a run of similar stature is Will Smith from 2002 to 2008.  Now I’m not diminishing Tom Cruise’s accomplishments at all, he’s had 15 films that he’s starred in that have grossed $100+ domestically at the box office.  That, folks, is downright amazing.  Only a handful of actors – ever – have had success like that.  Still, it begs the question…what happened to “movie star” Tom Cruise?

One could argue that Lions for Lambs happened.  It was Cruise’s first “passion project” where he teamed up with Robert Redford (director) to take on the politics of the Iraqi war.  It was critically panned and did horribly at the box office (made only $15M domestically and cost $35M to make), despite having an all-star cast and an up-and-comer like Andrew Garfield.  Cruise-ade for bad movies continued with Valkyrie and Knight and Day, the latter being watchable at least.  Now we get the stink-filled bomb of bad music that is Rock of Ages.

Cruise apparently knows that he’s on this slide and knows what makes him money, having already signed on to do a Mission Impossible 5 due out in 2014.  He’s also signed up to do a remake of the vampire hunter title Van Helsing.  Maybe I’m expecting too much from Cruise or maybe Katie Holmes has buried the old Cruise and resurrected a more bland version of himself.  Whatever the cause may be, I’m still hold out hope for a Tom Cruise/Will Smith collaboration that would make the world explode.

Where have all the good Tom Cruise’s gone?



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