tom cruise

Tom Cruise is My Box Office Poison

Am I the only one who thinks Tom Cruise is box office poison? Well, I’m probably not, but the movie studios don’t seem to think so. They think any movie can be giant box office potential as long as there’s a recognizable name on it. Doesn’t matter if it’s trash. It’s this misguided judgement that leads to so much crap on the screen.

Tom Cruise specifically, I will avoid. Oblivion looked kind of cool, but once I saw Tom Cruise was in it, all I could think was “There’s Tom Cruise, being Tom Cruise”. I don’t think it’s that I dislike his acting style. I think it’s his reputation. Every time I see him, even in great roles like A Few Good Men and Minority Report, I can’t get over his Top Gun/Days of Thunder roles. All I can think of is his couch-jumping, his ignorance about modern medication, Scientology, and poor Katie Holmes.

These days, if Tom Cruise is in it, it’s an automatic turn-off, although that could be because he makes/likes movies I’m simply not interested in. Look at his last five. Oblivion was an After Earth knock-off, which was horrible to begin with. Jack Reacher is some secret agent movie where he’s stronger than anyone he faces (in the trailer, he does the cliche of telling the five guys exactly how he’s going to beat them up, and then does so — what’s the point of watching a hero that’s always going to win?).

Rock of Ages was campy, vacuous, and Glee-ish. Plus I heard Cruise demanded his role be expanded and changed from an irredeemable narcissist to a sympathetic washout. Then there was another Mission:Impossible movie, where he again plays a secret agent doing impossible an impractical stunts. And then Knight and Day where he’s a secret agent AGAIN, this time played for romantic-comedy.

I’m sure Tom Cruise is at the point in his career where no one will say “no” to him. That’s the issue. You need people around you who will stay objective and critical, not yes-men. That’s what happened to Michael Jackson and M. Night Shyamalan. By the time they got so famous, they fired everyone who would have said “maybe it’s not a good idea to invite all these kids you don’t know for sleepovers” or “I think it would be kind of hard to condense an entire season of a well-loved TV show into two hours”.

Maybe it’s just me, but Tom Cruise does not entice me to see a movie. If anything, I will see a movie despite Tom Cruise in it.

Eric Juneau is a software engineer and novelist on his lunch breaks. In 2016, his first novel, Merm-8, was published by eTreasures. He lives in, was born in, and refuses to leave, Minnesota. You can find him talking about movies, video games, and Disney princesses at where he details his journey to become a capital A Author.

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