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Pulling for Cruise in “Edge of Tomorrow”

Maybe this is the one, I tell myself. The first non-“Mission: Impossible” film in almost a decade that lifts Tom Cruise back up to his former lofty perch as an undisputed box office king. 2013’s “Oblivion” didn’t do it. Neither did 2012’s “Jack Reacher” or “Rock of Ages”. Same thing goes for 2010’s “Knight and Day”. Oh, they all did respectable business(especially when factoring in Cruise’s strong international box office appeal), but outside of the built-in audience that made 2011’s “Mission: Impossible-Ghost Protocol” a major earner—Tom hasn’t had a bona fide starring smash since Steven Spielberg’s “War of the Worlds” in 2005. But, why do I even care? I’m not really certain, to be perfectly frank.

I mean, why is it that I continue to root for this nutjob Scientologist(I’m currently reading a renowned Lawrence Wright book about Cruise’s “religion”, and trust me…Tom is a kook). Is it 80’s/90’s nostalgia for a “simpler” time when Tom C. regularly ruled the cineplex with mega-hits like “Top Gun”, “Rain Man”, “A Few Good Men”, “The Firm” and “Jerry Maguire”? I believe that’s part of it. Also, there’s just something about this dude, isn’t there? Not a superb actor, but a great movie star. And even when he’s a bit wacky—like when he jumped on Oprah’s couch, or had his heated television interview with Matt Lauer —he always manages to be interesting. Maybe it’s his earnestness. Anyway, I’m pulling for “Edge of Tomorrow”(coming in early June)to be very successful, and it’s got some real possibilities.

First off, the director is Doug Liman. Mr. Liman burst onto the scene in the late 1990’s with the indie darlings “Swingers” and “Go”. By the early portion of the following decade, Doug helmed the big action hits, “The Bourne Identity” and “Mr. and Mrs. Smith”. Liman’s got some street cred, so I’m on board for him too. Then there’s the beguiling Emily Blunt, “Edge of Tomorrow”‘s female lead. An accomplished performer that bridges the blockbuster/art film gap beautifully, this 31 year-old starlet first garnered major attention for 2006’s “The Devil Wears Prada”, and looks to make a big splash later this year as the Baker’s Wife in Rob Marshall’s “Into the Woods”. So, I’m officially in the corner for all three artistes, but I’m mainly hoping it’s Tom Cruise’s return to the top of the heap! Maybe the above trailer will have you believing too.

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