Not because the movie is great, though it is.
Not because the director the same amazing man behind THE BOURNE IDENTITY. And not because Emily Blunt and the other supporting actors nailed it.
I almost didn’t see this film because of my antipathy for Tom Cruise, and yeah, I’d lost respect for him the last few years. But this bit of cinema goes a long way toward rehabbing Cruise as a blockbuster star, though not for the reasons you’d expect.
Warning: spoilers. Also, I refer to action heroes as “he” for simplicity, and yes, Ronda Rousey and other female action stars are amazing.
5) Reversal of tough-guy expectations
Most action stars have an actual background in Being a Tough Guy.
Arnold Schwarzenegger was the king of bodybuilding. The rest of the cast of THE EXPENDABLES 12: ANARCHY AT THE AARP MEETING is full of martial arts maniacs, pro wrestling hulks and mixed-martial arts studs.
The fact that Tom Cruise is short in real life isn’t an impediment here. Jackie Chan, Jean Claude Van Damme and Jet Li could all fit in the back seat of a Yugo.
Doesn’t matter. They look big and tough on screen.
The difference? While he did all his own stunts in this movie, just like the toughest Tinseltown tough guys, Tom the Cruise can actually act. Shockingly, acting ability tends to matter on the big screen. Continue reading