The first thing I think of when I hear the name Edward Zwick is his Oscar-winning 1989 film Glory. Specifically, I think of the time my entire 7th grade class was assembled in Marlboro Middle School’s amphitheater to watch it. And when the same thing happened again in 8th grade. And then again in high school, where I was shown Glory two more times in history classes. My colleagues on the ScreenCrush staff all have similar stories. For a certain generation of American school kids, Glory was like a rite of passage.
The Late Late Show With James Corden is no stranger to running stars through their career history, but if there’s anyone to run anywhere, it’s Tom Cruise. See the Jack Reacher star reenact an impressive span of his iconic movie career for James Corden, and we’ll show you the special guest!
Everyone knows Iron Man as the cornerstone of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Sark, the man who plays Marvel’s Shellhead. But did you know before Downey got the role and Marvel started its cinematic universe, Tom Cruise wanted to play Tony Stark? At one point, Cruise wanted to star in and produce an Iron Man movie. That’s just one of the Tom Cruise facts featured in the newest episode of You Think You Know Movies!
The Jack Reacher of Lee Child’s novels is a massive 6’5” bruiser. The Jack Reacher of cinema is Tom Cruise, who’s only about 5’7. But there’s something satisfying about this casting. You expect a giant hulk to be able to handle himself in a fight. Cruise’s Reacher is an underdog every time he wanders into a fight and then takes them down three, four, or five dudes at a time. Is it plausible that a 54-year-old vagrant could maintain a flawless physique and dominate packs of professional killers even when cornered and heavily outnumbered? Probably not. Is it plausible that a kid who gets bit by a spider could turn into Spider-Man? There are things a viewer simply accepts because it is the premise of the movie.
If you have ever seen at least a couple of Tom Cruise movies, it will come as no surprise to you when I say the guy likes to run onscreen. Like, a lot. It’s his version of Humphrey Bogart’s overcoat or John Wayne’s hat. It’s his calling card, his signature. It wouldn’t be a true Tom Cruise film without it. His hair gets longer or shorter, he gets older and gains a couple of wrinkles. But the running never changes.
In the first Jack Reacher: Never Go Back trailer, Tom Cruise beat up 11 guys. In this new IMAX trailer, which is only 90 seconds long, he beats up eight. That includes a guy on an airplane, a guy he kicks in the face, a guy he jumps on from a great height, a guy he punches through the window of his car, and a guy he strangles with his own telephone cord while talking to him on the phone. He also threatens this man with the line “Maybe I rip your arm off and beat you to death with it.” Oh please oh please oh please Tom Cruise, rip his arm off and beat him to death with it. I’ve always wanted to see you rip a guy’s arm off and beat him to death with it. All my friends say it’s not physically possible. But I believe in you dude! Power of positive thinking!
Few things in life are as exciting as a new Tom Cruise action movie. We’ve all read articles declaring Cruise as the last true American movie star or marveling at his physicality even into his fifties, but even those pieces sometimes overlook the sheer pleasure of watching Cruise at work in any new Jack Reacher or Mission: Impossible movie. Five minutes of any basic cable police procedural should be enough to remind you that not every actor who holds a gun actually looks the part; actors like Tom Cruise and Keanu Reeves are on a level entirely their own.
Pre-production on Mission: Impossible 6 came to a halt last month when a contract dispute between Tom Cruise and Paramount threatened to stall the sixth installment in the blockbuster franchise. The sticking point? Cruise wanted the studio to match — or top — what Universal is paying him to star in The Mummy reboot, but Paramount was a little contentious…yeah right, as if they weren’t going to give Tom Cruise, the star of one of their biggest franchises, what he wants.
At this point in his career, there shouldn’t be much cause for behind-the-scenes drama when it comes to Tom Cruise movies. Cruise wants to star in another Jack Reacher movie? Pay the man. Cruise wants to play a special forces operative fighting a centuries-old mummy? Pay the man. Cruise wants to release a movie where all he does is run for two hours? By all that is holy and good in this world, pay the man!
Listen, I won’t pretend to know whether I’m supposed to be excited about the new Universal Studios monster movies or not. Like most of you, I do get a little bit of a headache every time a studio boss utters the words “shared universe,” but no matter how cynicism I try and muster for the new Tom Cruise remake of The Mummy, I just can’t. It has Tom Cruise! Running around London! Fighting a gosh-darn mummy! Yeah, that’s right, I’m an easy mark.