I can’t accurately pinpoint the exact memory where I realized the guy I’m watching on the screen is one of the biggest movie stars in the world. But if I had to pick a moment, it was probably when the first Mission Impossible came out and I saw Tom Cruise in some of the craziest scenes that you could only see in a Tom Cruise movie.
To elevate the whole essence of it all, you can never forget the movie’s opening sequence overlapped with the main music score of the film produced by the U2 band members Larry Mullen Jr. and Adam Clayton which was an electronic dance version of the original theme heard in the Mission Impossible TV Series that laid the foundation of a billion dollar franchise with Cruise at the helm.
The movie became the third highest grossing film of the 1996 and the music score itself dominated the top-ten list of music charts around the world and bagged a Grammy nomination to wrap it all up.
A lot of people would put up the case that it was actually Top Gun that catapulted Tom Cruise into stardom and they would be absolutely right. Top Gun only catapulted him into a bankable status, it didn’t solidify him as the face we know today. Top Gun was the slow and gradual beginning of the road leading him up to play a young selfish wheeler dealer with an unusually gifted brother to a real life paralyzed soldier to a hot headed inexperienced lawyer and finally donning the persona of a secret agent that made us realize we’ve been connecting to this guy for the past decade and will continue to see ourselves in his shoes for the many more years to come.
If you strip away all of the filmography except his action flicks, you’ll begin to see a pattern, the pattern of donning these roles with a sense of pride, which begs the question of why Tom Cruise looks like he enjoys taking so much pride in portraying these characters that the world can rely on?
Tom grew up in near poverty, in a house dominated by his abusive father who in his own words ‘was a merchant of chaos.’ He elaborated his experience of getting beaten up by his father further describing him as a bully and a coward, the kind of person who, if something goes wrong, would take all of his frustration out on you.
Tom described these childhood years as a great lesson in his life as to how his father would lull him in, make him feel safe and then in an instant would drift apart from what Tom needed his father to be. He didn’t trust him and would always be careful around him.
All the horror occurring in his life, Tom suffered from dyslexia, incapacitating him from living a normal childhood and coupled with the father problems, he aspired to be a Catholic priest. Even though he had a Catholic upbringing, his aspiration to becoming a priest didn’t work out as he chose to make a career in football after playing for the varsity team in his senior year before an injury cut him out of this option.
All of this madness finally lead him to landing a bit part in a novel based romantic drama which then paved his way to a narrative now known as a generation X classic and a career maker for Tom Cruise at the same time. This is where Mr. Cruise found himself, what he was meant to do, what he was meant to be.
A lot of people bring out the criticism that Tom Cruise simply looks like playing Tom Cruise in all of his pictures, but these critiques couldn’t be more wrong to the point where Tom playing a role in one of his greatest hits, Interview with the vampire based on a best-selling novel, writer Anne Rice was publicly negative about Tom being cast in the film. But once she saw what Tom brought to the screen, she went on record with her praise for Tom’s performance in a two page segment for Daily Variety and apologizing for her doubts about what he brings to the table. Tom brings an unparalleled amount of relatability where he makes it look deceptively simple transforming from a glossy 35 year old sports agent to a misogynist motivational speaker to a profane ill-tempered studio executive all the while moving back and forth between his action flicks.
Steer further into his personal space and you’ll see the absurdities leveling themselves against the man’s religion. Scientology’s controversies are no longer unspoken, but should we try to separate his success from what are, after all, his religious convictions?
The book, Going Clear, and the subsequent HBO documentary deconstructs the methods and origin of Scientology, so we want to focus instead upon the ways the church has influenced and affected Cruise’s career and what that means for us as consumers to invest in his work.
To Cruise, scientology is a spiritual system that promises the greatest cures for the greatest ailments, and it’s easy to see how his own personal struggles lead him to believe this as he credits the church for help with overcoming his dyslexia.
Whatever conclusion you make up about Tom Cruise, do yourselves a favor, go back to watching this scene and tell me you don’t get the urge to be this guy who feels the thrill of the harsh wind rushing through the veins of his face. This guy right here, is the guy who when the times calls for it, can do anything that he wants to do, this guy right here when the time calls for it, can be anything that he wants to be.
I’ve been a Tom Cruise fan since I was a young lad and I immensely enjoy all of his movies, especially the Mission Impossible series. His screen presence is extremely magnetic in a way that it mesmerizes you and gets you hooked to the screen and that was the inspiration for this video.
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