' ' Cinema Romantico: Which Tom Cruise Would You Call Upon to Save the World?

Monday, October 12, 2020

Which Tom Cruise Would You Call Upon to Save the World?

The other day, amid America’s burgeoning banana republic, my friend Rory texted me a news story that a mummy coffin sealed 2,500 years ago in Egypt had just been opened. As Rory noted, given how humanity is already hanging on by a thread, this decision seemed rather unwise. On the other hand, given the state of 2020, it seemed wholly appropriate, a reawakened mummy perhaps heralding the end of the world. Unless someone could stop the mummy. But who would stop him, Rory wondered? Tom Cruise of “The Mummy” (2017) or Brendan Fraser of “The Mummy” (1999)? My answer: I would trust Brendan Fraser of “The Mummy” more than Tom Cruise of “The Mummy” to ward off 2020’s Mummy, but I would trust Tom Cruise of “Mission: Impossible” to ward off 2020’s Mummy more than Brendan Fraser of “The Mummy.” “Feels like a blog post, Nick,” Rory texted back. “Which Tom Cruise do you trust to save the world?” That was all I needed to go off. After all, we might well be staring down The End of the World right now. It’s best to be prepared.

Which Tom Cruise Would You Call Upon to Save the World?

My love for “Top Gun” is true, deep, absurd, abiding. You might think, then, that the obvious answer here is Tom Cruise in “Maverick.” However, can we be sure that Maverick won’t take a look at the mummy, freeze up, declare “it doesn’t look good”, and opt out? I know, I know, he overcame that as “Top Gun” ended, you’re saying, but until we can screen “Top Gun 2”, can we be sure that personal triumph truly took?

Jerry Maguire demonstrated impressive perseverance, granted, but the end of the world is nigh and we don’t have time for him to bottom out first, okay.

Same goes for The Last Samurai. We need your head in the game now, tough guy. 

Frank T.J. Mackey might claim he’s the savior but he definitely could not save the world. He would, however, thrive as the leader of a doomsday cult.

Look, John Anderton is only as good as the precogs. Pfffffft. 

Who ya got? Not him.

Ditto Major William Cage. The Angel of Verdun was the best thing that ever happened to him.

Tasking Roy Miller of “Knight and Day” to save the world is like when the Nebraska Athletic Department settled on Bill Callahan as new head coach after the first 57 options rejected them.

Ray Ferrier would get his kids to safety but what about the rest of us?

We all know how it turned out for Claus von Stauffenberg.

Bill Harford of “Eyes Wide Shut” would probably be willing to take on the task but he’d be in over his head right quick. 

Jasper Irving? Senator Jasper Irving? Republican Senator Jasper Irving? [Falls on the floor laughing.]

I know Jack Reacher might be an intriguing choice for some but Cruise as grim mercenary is far less credible than Cruise as crazy-eyed and ultra committed. And that brings me to...

Mid-Post Mission: Impossible Tom Cruise Saving the World Power Rankings

6. Mission: Impossible 2. You think The End of the World is falling for the old Kick the Gun Up in the Air and Grab It and Shoot You trick? SMH
5. Mission: Impossible III. I don’t want to have to start with The End of the World and then flash back to How We Got Here. I really don’t.
4. Mission Impossible - Ghost Protocol. At least we know if The End of the World scrambles Ethan’s gadgetry, he’ll be able to adjust.
3. Mission: Impossible. A controversial choice, perhaps, but I’m inclined to believe this dogged, nigh obsessed version of Ethan could get the job done.
2. Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation. If not quite as well as this version of Ethan. I’m imagining Ilsa and Benji literally reading the Book of Revelation aloud to Ethan and then Benji saying Well, that doesn’t sound impossible.
1. Mission: Impossible - Fallout. Ethan Hunt Climbing Into A Helicopter Mid-Air, Throwing The Pilot Out and Figuring Out How To Fly It In The Middle Of Literally Flying It is the kind of energy I want from my Saving the World Mission: Impossible Tom Cruise.

But wait. What if “Mission: Impossible - Fallout” Ethan Hunt decides to save his IMF besties instead of preventing the apocalypse? 

If The End of the World challenges us, Earth, to a bar flair competition, like the Devil challenging people to a fiddle contests for their souls, then we’ll definitely give Brian Flanagan a call. Otherwise, nuh uh.

The mononymous Vincent of “Collateral” is an intriguing choice but how do you know Vincent wouldn’t just take some cold hard cash from The Beast rising up out of the sea with ten horns and seven heads and then shoot all the rest of humanity in the back?

If Lt. Daniel Kaffee could get The End of the World under oath, he might, just might be able to call its bluff. But The End of the World has quality defense attorneys. Too big of a risk.

It might be easy to assume that Stef Djordjevic not up to the challenge. But if you’ve ever been a kid and stayed home alone, made a complete mess of things and put yourself on the clock to clean it up before your parents get home, you know it feels a lot like the End of the World is looming. 

Given that the Tom Cruise of “Legend” is specifically trying to vanquish the darkness, he seems like an ideal choice, Rotten Tomatoes score or not. But.

I don’t like it any more than you do. And normally a guy like foul-mouthed Hollywood producer Les Grossman is gonna squash you, me and all us regular folks to get what he wants because what he wants supersedes all else. But The End of the World is the rare situation when the goal of Les Grossman and all us peons dovetails. The End of everything is what a raging narcissist like Les Grossman fears most. He’d do anything not to have to face The End and, my God, would he do it. And if he staves off The End of the World for himself, he staves it off for the rest of us. He’s the only choice. 

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