There aren’t many actors who’re extra highly effective or beloved in Hollywood proper now than Tom Cruise. Due to the recognition of movies like Mission: Unimaginable — Fallout and High Gun: Maverick, Cruise has turn into a semi-self-designated champion of cinema itself. In an period when it looks like Hollywood is in dire want of film stars, Cruise is, notably, one of many few actors who’s able to bringing moviegoers out in droves to see his movies in theaters.
Cruise has definitely earned his standing as an trade titan. A lot of the acclaimed movies he’s revamped the previous 10 years or so have relied closely on each his innate star energy and his willingness to attempt the sort of sensible stunts which have beforehand turned performers like Jackie Chan and Buster Keaton into legends. When audiences go to see one in all his motion pictures, they know that, on the very least, they’re going to get a movie that was made with the pure intent of entertaining them. That’s, frankly, a tough factor to come back by nowadays.
With a bit of assist from a common suspect
Nevertheless, as spectacular as Cruise’s late-career work has been, it’s value noting that his current renaissance can’t be fully attributed to him. The actor has risen again up by the Hollywood ranks not solely due to his personal charisma and daredevil-like drive but in addition due to his extraordinarily rewarding partnership with writer-director Christopher McQuarrie.
Tom Cruise and Christopher McQuarrie have been working collectively ever for the reason that former starred in 2008’s Valkyrie, which McQuarrie wrote. 4 years after that movie, the 2 males labored collectively for the primary time as an actor and director on the 2012 motion flick, Jack Reacher. Whereas that film doesn’t work fairly in addition to some would have preferred, McQuarrie has nonetheless gone on to be concerned in almost each critically acclaimed and beloved film that Cruise has revamped the previous 12 years.
That features 2011’s Mission: Unimaginable — Ghost Protocol, the movie that resurrected each the Mission: Impossible franchise and began Cruise’s rebrand as a thrill-seeking-movie-star-with-a-death-wish. McQuarrie, notably, has no credits on Ghost Protocol, but it’s been said that the uncredited work he did on that film helped turn it into the well-rounded blockbuster it ultimately became. Even Ghost Protocol director Brad Bird has gone out of his means over time to acknowledge McQuarrie’s work on the movie.
Just a few years later, McQuarrie was introduced on to carry out last-minute rewrites on 2014’s Fringe of Tomorrow, which ranks excessive amongst Cruise’s finest motion motion pictures. He was then employed to write down and direct 2015’s Mission: Unimaginable — Rogue Nation, a job he’s since reprised for each 2018’s Mission: Unimaginable — Fallout and this yr’s Mission: Unimaginable — Useless Reckoning Half One, all of that are thought-about a few of the finest motion motion pictures that Hollywood has ever produced. Alongside the best way, McQuarrie additionally carried out rewrites on the script for High Gun: Maverick and helped produce the hit 2022 movie.
McQuarrie has, in different phrases, turn into Cruise’s greatest and most trusted collaborator. Whereas not each movie he’s labored on with Cruise has been a hit, both (see: The Mummy), it’s clear that the latter has a deep religion in not solely McQuarrie’s expertise but in addition his creative imaginative and prescient. And while you take a look at the Cruise-led movies that McQuarrie has directed, it’s not arduous to see why the 2 have hit it off so nicely.
McQuarrie’s Mission: Unimaginable motion pictures don’t simply characteristic a few of the most awe-inspiring sensible stunts in current film historical past — in addition they boast a shocking degree of narrative and visible craftsmanship. Throughout their shared commentary observe for Mission: Unimaginable — Fallout, Cruise repeatedly refers to McQuarrie’s work as “elegant,” which appears as apt an outline of his type as some other. In Fallout, Rogue Nation, and Useless Reckoning Half One, McQuarrie by no means helps you to overlook that he’s in management. Even when the wheels are actually coming off on-screen, there’s by no means a way in his Mission: Unimaginable motion pictures that they’re turning into too chaotic or uncontrolled for their very own good.
That’s an exceptionally arduous factor to tug off, particularly in movies that rely so closely on the explosive chaos of their motion sequences. However at no level in McQuarrie’s M:I efforts does it really feel like their motion sequences have taken precedence over their characters. Look no additional than the extended Paris chase in Mission: Unimaginable — Fallout, which is propelled at each flip by tough choices made by Cruise’s Ethan Hunt, for proof of that.
Along with his near-unrivaled visible eye, McQuarrie has an innate understanding of easy methods to stability motion and character, spectacle and emotion. That’s obvious not solely in his M:I movies, but in addition in High Gun: Maverick and Fringe of Tomorrow, that are, by all accounts, the opposite two post-Valkyrie Cruise motion pictures he’s had probably the most direct involvement in. Throw in his clear love of Alfred Hitchcock, Buster Keaton, Harold Lloyd, and John Frankenheimer, and also you’ve bought somebody who not solely has a gentle, dependable imaginative and prescient, however whose tastes align with a few of the cinematic legends that Cruise has spent an enormous portion of his profession making an attempt to emulate.
It’s clear that Tom Cruise and Christopher McQuarrie’s inventive relationship could be very a lot a partnership. It’s not a one-way avenue, which implies that neither deserves all of the credit score for the opposite’s current successes. That mentioned, McQuarrie’s fingerprints have, in a technique or one other, been obvious in all of Cruise’s finest late-career motion pictures.
He’s a filmmaker who’s uniquely well-equipped to make the sort of movies that Cruise needs to proper now, and within the Fringe of Tomorrow and High Gun star, McQuarrie has discovered somebody who has the ability, sources, and need to make sure that these motion pictures get delivered to life on-screen. Discuss a win-win.
Mission: Unimaginable: Useless Reckoning — Half One is now taking part in in theaters.