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Entries in tom cruise (7)


In Which He Remains The Right Man For Her

Used to Love Him


The Mummy
dir. Alex Kurtzman
107 minutes

Jennifer (Annabelle Wallis) meets Nick (Tom Cruise) in Baghdad. Although he is twenty-two years her senior, there is a serious paucity of English-speaking men in this city. She therefore invites him back to her hotel room, where he pleasures her as many times as his advanced age is able to accommodate. In her quiet moments, Jennifer hunkers down in front of her laptop, puts on a pair of optional eyeglasses – at no other time in The Mummy does she ever wear them – and checks in with her supervisor Henry (Russell Crowe).

These are the two men in her life. She might have chosen better if she had left Cambridge and took the job offer from an American company; instead she wanted to make her home in London, and work for an organization called Prodigium, which dedicates itself to the elimination of evil. It is subtly suggested in The Mummy that Jennifer is hoping to turn the focus of her company from the commercial exploitation of historic sites to a more active role in political affairs, e.g. Brexit and the like.

She is pretty lukewarm on Nick after the sex. She has given him her body, which is impressively sculpted, and when we see Nick in the nude during the weeks that follow we recognize why he is able to attract such a spry young woman. (Her cheekbones are particularly impressive; they radiate like the vibrant, enticing pouches of a squirrel.) She alleges that while the sex was consensual, Nick's theft of an important map she kept for reasons afterwards was most certainly not. She is very angry at him for awhile until they discover a tomb beneath the earth.

The couple escorts this historical find by airplane out of Iraq. On the way, the plane crashes and Nick gives Jennifer the only working parachute on the flight. She is grateful for his sacrifice, and when she finds out that he survived the crash through some kind of wonderful miracle, she is so appreciative that she is like, "Want to get dinner?" When a woman asks you if you want to get dinner, it means something very different from what it would ostensibly seem, and Nick's experience the following evening agrees with my observation.

Even though she now expresses to Nick that she cares for him and believes he is a good person, she never touches Nick again throughout the rest of The Mummy. She does take him to meet the other man in her life, I guess to compare them? Meanwhile Nick is having these little daydreams about another woman (Sofia Boutella), the woman in the tomb, an Egyptian princess who wanted to find a vessel for Set, the god of death. 

This embalmed creature of power decides that Tom Cruise is the ideal person to embody such a deity and drowns Jennifer. Before she dies, Jennifer tells Nick that she is scared. He loves her so much that he brings her back to life a few minutes later, and she does not even spit water from her mouth or lungs. His decision is understandable. I mean, how many more young blondes will allow him to save their life in the near future, do you suppose? Not many: they will all probably be brunettes, so he should cling to this Jennifer.

It is a serious, tragic shame that everyone hated The Mummy so much, since a sequel where Tom Cruise plays the Egyptian God of death would be top tier. Unfortunately the direction of Alex Kurtzman (Fringe) is pretty cartoonish for the material – he is better known as a writer, and this script feels like it was worked over by every scribe in Hollywood. Nick and Jennifer literally have no preferences at all – there is nothing they enjoy. They have no family, no friends. It is like they are already in a tomb.

The pacing also suffers. For an adventure film, The Mummy never really goes anywhere. After the opening scenes in Iraq, the film returns to a particularly garish part of London and never really leaves it. It is rather unclear what the film's $125m budget went to: Tom's trailer and jet? The princess' plan to take over the world or whatever is thwarted in a matter of scenes, in order to place the focus back where it belongs: the heart of Tom Cruise.

While she is imprisoned by Russell Crowe, the Egyptian princess threatens all the English people who have chosen to hold her captive. At first, she speaks in the old language. Nearby, London sits atop their quiet stronghold like a mother bird on a basket of eggs. The princess quickly learns English, proclaiming it a simple way of expression. Tom Cruise makes a face like he is maybe about to object, but then he blows out the air in his lungs and shuts the fuck up.

Ethan Peterson is the reviews editor of This Recording.


In Which Jack Reacher Was Catfished By The Very Best

T.C. = J.R.


Jack Reacher: Never Go Back
dir. Edward Zwick
118 minutes

Jack Reacher starts up a phone relationship with a brunette, one Major Turner (Cobie Smulders). She's like twenty years younger than him and is currently under indictment for espionage, which makes her incredibly appealing. For a good portion of the running time of Jack Reacher: Never Go Back they never meet, which only heightens the intense erotic tension.

At roughly the same time that he begins this romance, Jack Reacher finds out that he has a fifteen-year old daughter. He has never even heard of the mother, but then again he did a lot of things around Y2K figuring that the world was probably coming to an end very shortly. He follows this suspected daughter, who looks something like a runway model but is a professional shoplifter. When she confronts him for tailing her, she asks if he is a cop. "Do I look like a cop?" Reacher responds. No one could possibly look like more of one.

Sometimes I wonder what sex between Cobie Smulders and Tom Cruise would actually be like. I imagine it would be something close to a mexican stand off, with a lot of rustling and light smacks atop the phallus and vagina. "Ten minutes is a very long time," announces another character. We can't imagine to what that could refer.

About twenty minutes into Jack Reacher: Never Go Back, Tom is put into a military prison. Five minutes later he breaks out Cobie Smulders and himself without firing a single bullet. The first thing they do back in Washington D.C. is hit up an internet cafe to catch up on the Drudge Report and stuff. She still uses a RSS reader, which is kind of weird.

Reacher gets antsy and starts missing his new daughter. He breaks her phone by shattering it on the ground, and makes her dress up like a Catholic schoolgirl. She steals the credit cards of a classmate and does not fit in at the school at all. She has no plan to take the SAT and her college prospects look grim. Reacher pulls her out of school and the three of them fly from Washington D.C. to New Orleans. It's actually quite funny watching Reacher have a family who he has to account for his actions to, and it makes Jack Reacher: Never Go Back a lot more fun than the horrid first film in the series.

While they are the plane, Reacher's daughter cozies up to Cobie Smulders for a long talk. "What was it like working with Jason Segel?" she asks. "Does he talk about his dick as much as people say? Do you like Jack Reacher? Is he your boyfriend or friends with benefits?" She denies caring about Cruise at all, and he pretends to be asleep throughout this whole episode. Sex is anathema to the entire Cruise project — it will be like Westworld where everyone turns out to be a robot, Jack Reacher most of all.

A lot of times I wonder about what Tom Cruise is going to do when he gets really old. He does a lot of crossfit to stay in this good of shape, although it is quite noticeable that he never bothers taking off his jacket throughout Jack Reacher: Never Go Back. His horizontal mobility is still top notch, but sometimes when he runs, which is very often, you can see him starting to flag a bit.

The one thing I hate the most is when older people talk about being old. To his immense credit, Tom strictly emphasizes that no one is to refer to him as old. When he looks for a doppleganger in the airport in order to steal an ID that will allow him past the TSA, Tom looks for a guy no more than thirty. The two women he is with agree that they are a perfect match.

Later in the movie, Cobie Smulders strolls into Jack Reacher's hotel room with a white robe. She asks him what he was thinking would happen after they went on their first date. She seductively places a french fry in her mouth. To no one's shock or surprise this scene ends in an argument. If Reacher can't close given these circumstances, this is a man who has no interest in sex with a woman whatsoever.

Maybe that's for the best. Intercourse slows inertia — Tom's aerodynamic properties could possibly compromised by the addition of other individuals. Soon enough he tells his women that they should stay at the greasy New Orleans hotel Cobie paid cash for while he meets up with a bunch of men in what looks to be an abandoned warehouse. It is the first time he has smiled since he has been in the South.

Dick Cheney is the senior contributor to This Recording.



In Which Someone Wants To Kill Tom Cruise

Insults to Katie Holmes


Mission Impossible - Rogue Nation
dir. Christopher McQuarrie
131 minutes

Tom Cruise's body is barely slipping, but his face is becoming notably more bloated. He enters a vinyl shop in the opening scene of Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation and starts talking Coltrane with a woman in the shop's employ. Later, he prevents another, similar looking woman from assassinating the prime minister of Austria. There is a type of woman that Tom Cruise is attracted to: she is a brunette around 145 pounds (a blonde would be too silly), she wears her hair to her shoulders, and she absolutely implores Tom to stay safe. "They want to kill you," she informs Tom.

Going Clear, Alex Gibney's documentary about the Church of Scientology from earlier this year, spent a solid half hour documenting how Tom Cruise has profited from his association with the organization. It went a little bit past the point of 'the lady doth protest too much' — I guess Tom really upset Gibney, perhaps by forcing him to watch Mission Impossible III.

Gibney did us all a major disservice in that we can never watch Tom Cruise smile at a woman without thinking of some other peripheral woman being harassed by T.C.'s religion. For that describes Scientology perfectly, and it is not even the worst of its kind. All religions are quite cruel to their apostates.

To Tom Cruise's credit, he has just kept on going on with his life despite the fact anyone who has seen Going Clear views him as a massive joke. At one point he is in a car which flips over seven times, and he is absolutely fine, so why would a smear campaign related to the method by which he rid himself of dangerous thetans have any effect on him whatsoever?

Tom's main market is outside of the U.S.A., where no one has seen Going Clear. Many people in the East and West probably see no meaningful difference between Scientology and a kind of disturbed Americanism. Tom is still exporting himself as a representative for this silliness. Going Clear, however, was also kind of a mess. It made Scientology seem like a cruel prank rather than a genius plan by focusing on the peccadilloes of its founders. "Isn't this wacky?" it crowed. Looking down on something, even something evil, from a great height is gratifying. It is also a waste of time.

It is harder than ever to watch Tom prance around Europe. First he is in London, where he pops into a phone booth and escapes the dully named Syndicate that wants to use him for purposes he doesn't quite understand. The action moves to Vienna, where director Christopher McQuarrie does his best with an opera set piece that involves Tom Cruise and Simon Pegg flirting with each other mischievously on Google Glass. Mission Impossible - Rogue Nation might actually be interesting if it brought out the clear romance between these two men, but instead Tom has another brunette love interest to conquer.

Cruise's Katie Holmes-esque opposite number is Ilsa Faust (Rebecca Ferguson). Like Holmes, Ferguson was a teen model. Her vague Swedish accent only accentuates the general sense of innocence she gives off. Cruise becomes her corrupter, tempting Ilsa with another life path. The overall complexion of the situation is downright creepy, especially when Cruise and Pegg start ogling Ilsa in a bathing suit after flying to Casablanca.

Ferguson's cadence and general mien is rather dull, and her resemblance to Ethan Hunt's wife (a conspicously absent Michelle Monaghan) is never even commented on in McQuarrie's script, which has set pieces of twenty minutes or more when almost no words are spoken at all. Tom has moved beyond them into pure signification.

McQuarrie tries his best to spice things up, but the problem with Mission: Impossible is that the second we stop being able to take what is happening seriously, the series becomes a bloated parody. The water weight in Cruise's cheeks aside (he looks like he is storing food for the winter), not even Alec Baldwin seems like he is having any fun in his role as Alan Hunley, director of the CIA. He probably should have just been cast as the villain — it would have made Rogue Nation about a thousand times more entertaining.

Eventually Simon Pegg is abducted by Tom's enemies, and he suddenly springs into action. For a moment you can feel him hovering on the brink of confessing his love, but then he draws himself back. He stores his excess thetans for the winter, hoping to release them at some other, future time. Though it would have been nice if he at least gave Jeremy Renner a soft hug.

Alex Carnevale is the editor of This Recording.

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