It's been a rough month for Tom Cruise. Despite his impressive commitment to character in the '80s jukebox movie musical Rock of Ages, the film was an embarrassing commercial and critical flop. Then last week, Katie Holmes reportedly blindsided him with divorce papers, sparking a slew of unflattering news stories detailing his ties to Scientology. Now, the trailer for his next film, the action thriller Jack Reacher, has been released. (Watch the video below.) The film, based on Lee Child's popular novel One Shot, is about an ex-military vigilante with "nothing to lose," and looks to be in the Mission: Impossible/Top Gun genre in which Cruise finds the most success. Will the film overshadow all the negative press the actor has been receiving?
This is a marketing misfire: The initial casting of Cruise upset passionate fans of Lee Child's novel, which describes Jack Reacher as a "6-foot-5, 230-something-pound hero," says Anthony Breznican at Entertainment Weekly. The comparatively diminutive Cruise "radically changes their view of the character." And the trailer shows "surprisingly little" of Cruise, which is strange since the studio should be working extra hard to prove that he's the right actor for the role. Plus, with Cruise's divorce dominating the news, the studio should have hammered the fact that "where movie fans prefer him is on screen rather than in the gossip headlines — so it's unfortunate that [the] trailer holds back some of that."
"Jack Reacher teaser gives peek (and that's all) at Tom Cruise's vigilante"
Still, the movie should help Cruise stay on top: "Tom Cruise may be weathering a storm when it comes to his personal life, but professionally, he's still on top," says Cindy Clark at USA Today. Forbes just declared him the highest-paid actor in Hollywood, with the $75 million he earned this past year putting him ahead of Leonardo DiCaprio, Ben Stiller, and Johnny Depp. Add in this intriguing Jack Reacher trailer, and Cruise appears to be doing just fine.
"Tom Cruise news: Tops Forbes list, Jack Reacher trailer"
But his personal life has eclipsed his career: It's impossible to even watch this trailer without thinking about Cruise's "personal life and looney tunes Scientology," says Jeannie Adams at Celebrity Dirty Laundry. His tabloid-baiting divorce is so distracting that the actor can't believably disappear into a role anymore, and the whole ordeal is unlikely to blow over anytime soon. Cruise has become "a laughing stock to fans," and only denouncing his wacky religion would allow Cruise to "reclaim his throne as the reigning king of Hollywood."
"New Jack Reacher trailer, is Tom Cruise's career over?"
Take a look at the trailer:
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- The Obama era is over. The presidency continues.
- America created the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria? Meet the ISIS 'truthers'
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- How American businessmen are ruining American business — and the U.S. economy
- What is Molly? Everything you need to know about the party drug
- How Harry Houdini escaped death
- On ISIS, neocons and liberal hawks have a 'boy who cried wolf' problem
- Why the West should let Russia have eastern Ukraine
- 7 grammar rules you really should pay attention to
- 10 things you need to know today: September 2, 2014
Subscribe to the Week