Tom Cruise shouldn’t get all the credit for his comeback | Digital Trends

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There aren’t many more powerful or beloved actors in Hollywood right now than Tom Cruise. Thanks to the popularity of movies like Mission: Impossible Fallout AND Top Gun: nonconformist, Cruise has become a semi-self-proclaimed champion of cinema himself. In an age where Hollywood seems to be in dire need of movie stars, Cruise is, notably, one of the few actors capable of getting moviegoers to see his films in theaters.

Cruise has certainly earned his status as an industry titan. Most of the acclaimed films he’s made in the past 10 years have relied heavily on both his innate star power and his willingness to try the kind of hands-on stunts that have previously turned artists like Jackie Chan and Buster Keaton into legends. When audiences go to see one of his films, he knows that, at the very least, they will get a film made with the pure intent to entertain them. This is, frankly, a hard thing to find these days.

With a little help from a usual suspect

Still, as impressive as Cruise’s late career work was, it’s worth noting that his recent renaissance can’t be fully attributed to him. The actor has risen through the ranks of Hollywood not only for his charisma and daredevil drive, but also for his extremely rewarding partnership with writer-director Christopher McQuarrie.

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Tom Cruise and Christopher McQuarrie have worked together ever since the former starred in 2008 Valkyrie, written by McQuarrie. Four years after that film, the two men worked together for the first time as an actor and director on the 2012 action film, Jack Reacher. While that film didn’t work as well as some would have liked, McQuarrie was still involved in nearly every critically acclaimed and beloved film Cruise has made in the past 12 years.

This includes the years 2011 Mission: Ghost Protocol Impossiblethe film that resurrected them both the Mission: Impossible franchise and began rebranding Cruises as a thrill-seeking movie star with a death wish. McQuarrie, in particular, has no credits Ghost Protocol, but it has been said that the uncredited work he did on that film helped turn it into the all-around blockbuster it eventually became. Also Ghost Protocol director Brad Bird has gone to great lengths over the years to acknowledge McQuarries’ work on film.

A few years later, McQuarrie was called in to perform last-minute rewrites on 2014s Edge of tomorrow, which ranks high among Cruises’ best action films. He was then hired to write and direct 2015s Mission: Rogue Nation Impossiblea job he has since resumed for both 2018 years Mission: Impossible Fallout and this year Mission: Impossible Showdown, Part One, all considered some of the best action films Hollywood has ever produced. Along the way, McQuarrie also rewrote the script for Top Gun: nonconformist and helped produce the blockbuster 2022.

McQuarrie has, in other words, become Cruise’s biggest and most trusted collaborator. Though not all of the films he’s worked on with Cruise have been successful (see: The Mummy), it is clear that the latter has a deep faith not only in McQuarries’ abilities but also in his artistic vision. And when you look at the Cruise-led films McQuarrie has directed, it’s not hard to see why the two hit it off so well.

Is Christopher McQuarrie the MVP of the Mission: Impossible franchise?

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McQuarries’ Mission: Impossible films not only feature some of the most impressive hands-on stunts in recent cinematic history, but also boast an extraordinary level of narrative and visual mastery. During their shared commentary track for Mission: Impossible FalloutCruise repeatedly refers to McQuarries’ work as elegant, which feels like a description of his style like any other. In Fall, Rogue nationAND The showdown starts firstMcQuarrie never lets you forget that he’s in control. Even when the reels are literally rolling off the screen, there’s never a feeling in his Mission: Impossible movies that they’re getting too chaotic or uncontrolled for their own good.

That’s an exceptionally difficult thing to pull off, especially in movies that rely so heavily on the explosive mayhem of their action sequences. But at no point in McQuarries’ M:I efforts does it feel like their action sequences took priority over their characters. Look no further than the extended chase in Paris Mission: Impossible Falloutwho is propelled at every turn by the tough decisions Cruises Ethan Hunt made, proof of that.

In addition to his unrivaled eye for vision, McQuarrie has an innate understanding of how to balance action and character, spectacle and emotion. This is evident not only in his M:I films, but also in Top Gun: nonconformist AND Edge of tomorrowwhich are, by all accounts, the other two post-Valkyrie Cruise film in which he had the most direct involvement. Add in his clear love for Alfred Hitchcock, Buster Keaton, Harold Lloyd and John Frankenheimer, and you have someone who not only has a firm and reliable vision, but whose tastes align with some of the cinematic legends Cruise spent much of his life his career trying to emulate.

A fruitful collaboration

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It is clear that the creative relationship between Tom Cruise and Christopher McQuarries is a partnership. It’s not a one-way street, which means neither deserves all the credit for the other’s recent successes. That said, McQuarries’ fingerprints have, to one degree or another, been evident in all of Cruise’s best late-career films.

He’s a filmmaker who is remarkably well equipped to make the kind of movies Cruise wants to make right now, and in the Edge of tomorrow AND Top Guns protagonist, McQuarrie has found someone who has the power, resources and desire to ensure those films come to life on screen. Talk about a win.

Mission: Impossible: Dead Reckoning, part one now it’s playing in theaters.

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