The Rock made headlines a few weeks ago when a producer compared his signature run to Tom Cruise’s. Dwayne Johnson felt it necessary to publicly rebuke that claim via social media. He wrote, “Stop the music right there. Nope. Cruise runs like 6 o’clock. Straight up and down, arms tight to the body like an offensive player running for the end zone.” On one hand, The Rock is genuinely concerned with people understanding the difference between an offensive fake run and a defensive fake run. But on the other hand, The Rock doesn’t want to be associated with Tom Cruise, period. Let’s face it, Tom Cruise, the person, is a fruit loop. He’s a disconnected oddity, yet remains one of Hollywood’s most formidable institutions.
When you look at the ups and downs of Tom’s career, you will find that he really doesn’t have that many lows. And the lows aren’t really even lows. Bloggers were quick to call The Mummy a flop and the end of Cruise’s career. But when we take a closer look at box office sales in foreign markets, it’s clear that Tom Cruise is still hot overseas. Sure, there was Rock of Ages and that time he jumped on Oprah’s couch, but when it’s all said and done, the man is basically bulletproof.
I have a theory about Tom Cruise. I believe that his secret power lies in the simple fact that he never changes. Americans love change, and there is an expectation that stars should evolve. Like for example, Brad Pitt and Will Smith have morphed from hot dudes to serious middle aged dudes to keep up with the market. In the “golden age” of television where even musicians like Ed Sheeran are trying to cash in on the boom, Tom Cruise has not made a single television appearance in his career. Tom Cruise is more dedicated to staying Tom Cruise than he is to box office sales. This strategy has benefited him thus far.
Tom Cruise isn’t stopping. He is only getting weirder and Tom Cruiseier with age. What’s the future of Tom Cruise? How can this institution survive into his 60s and 70s as the Tom Hardy’s and Chris Pratt’s of the world continue to rise? With his undeniable talent and popularity in foreign markets, the immortal Thetan inhabiting Tom Cruise’s career isn’t going anywhere soon.
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