Paramount is reportedly weighing the wisdom of green-lighting Mission: Impossible 4 with Tom Cruise in the lead. But that decision may hinge on how Cruise's newest release, Knight and Day, performs. The big budget "screwball spy caper" isn't off to an auspicious start, however, pulling in less than $4 million on its opening day. Is this the beginning of the end for the 47-year-old star? (Watch the trailer for Knight and Day)
He's still got it: "Tom Cruise is a rarity, a star's star," says Christopher Borrelli in the Chicago Tribune. Granted, Knight and Day is not Cruise's best, but still "there's a lightness about the picture" that successfully counters our "heavy," petrified image of him. While some argue that Cruise has "bad taste in movies," if you give him the right director "new dimensions always seem revealed." The question is: "Where are the filmmakers who can help" Cruise rise again?
"A case for why you should like Tom Cruise again"
Cruise's fade is a sign of a larger problem: His declining bank-ability reflects the demise of the "huge international movie star," says NPR's Steve Inskeep. Recent box office successes such as Toy Story 3 and The Karate Kid aren't "star-driven." When was the last time you saw "a Russell Crowe movie work, or any of these go-to, bankable stars" find the big audiences they once did? "Hollywood doesn't know quite how to respond to that problem."
"Tom Cruise and Hollywood's superstar crisis"
Maybe Knight and Day's just a bad movie: "Boy, are the knives out for Tom Cruise," says Brooks Barnes in The New York Times. Between "the couch jumping, the Scientology spouting, [and] the dumping of his power publicist," it's easy to argue that he's damaged his image beyond repair. But this "wreck" isn't entirely Cruise's fault. "Why is nobody talking about the failure of his co-star, Cameron Diaz, to deliver an audience here?" Or the "odd" title that doesn't even "telegraph what the movie is about."
"Tom Cruise doesn't need your pity. Here's some anyway"