Tom Cruise: patron saint of non-franchise sci-fi movies

Some people don’t like Tom Cruise because of the way he handles his relationships, the religion he practices or his capped teeth. I, for one, still enjoy watching that guy work. Sure, Jack Reacher wasn’t great, but the movie’s lack of quality had nothing to do with Tom Cruise’s performance. Beyond his performance quality, I also admire the choices he makes regarding the films in which he appears. An actor of his status can not only pick and choose his roles, but push a project into production. It’s because of this that Cruise has earned the status of patron saint of non-franchise sci-fi movies. Let’s take a look!

On May 17, Lindsay Ellis (@thelindsayellis AKA The Nostalgia Chick) tweeted the following:

You know, regardless of quality, bless Tom Cruise for being basically a one man lifeboat for non-franchise scifi movies.

This got the idea for this post into my head and I couldn’t let it go. I had just seen Oblivion and I have a never ending morbid fascination with War of the Worlds and Minority Report and of course, Edge of Tomorrow is in theaters now. The sci-fi credentials of these films can’t be called into question, but does Vanilla Sky count? I haven’t seen that one in a while… What about all the tech in the Mission: Impossible series? I suppose that is stretching the premise rather thin.

As Lindsay Ellis said, we can’t exactly bow down in terms of the overall quality of these films. Oblivion had some cool ideas, but was ultimately disappointing. War of the Worlds and Minority Report both kinda fall apart after the first hour or so… the pace gets really sloggy and as for the end of War of the Worlds… what? If you literally have to bring in Morgan Freeman to do a voice over so he can explain what the hell is happening at the end of the movie, you screwed up somewhere along the lines.

Still, it’s clear that if it wasn’t for Tom Cruise, we’d never get another ‘one and done’ sci-fi movie again. Make no mistake – if Tom Cruise wants to make an action/sci fi movie, it’s going to get made. He’s about the only actor in Hollywood that gets his name above the title of the movie on the poster every time. I’m sure there are several studios that would love him to turn these into franchise vehicles, but so far, Cruise is keeping his franchise outings to action only. We’ve got Mission: Impossible 5 and Jack Reacher 2 on the horizon… not to mention the baffling Top Gun 2 announcement.

Who knows what the future will hold, but it seems like Tom Cruise and sci-fi will continue to be a match going forward and all new generations of fans can watch Tom Cruise run into the camera.

About Jamie Insalaco

Jamie Insalaco is the author of, and editor in chief of

Posted on June 5, 2014, in movie review and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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