Paramount, Mr. Cruise’s longtime studio home, dumped him in 2006 over his odd behavior, and the actor went on to a failed attempt to revive the United Artists banner that resulted in the 2007 war-on-terror dud “Lions for Lambs.”
Then Mr. Cruise and Paramount realized what a good thing they had together. He rejoined the studio for “Tropic Thunder” and last year’s “Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol,” which restored Mr. Cruise to the blockbuster ranks and generally is regarded as the franchise’s best installment.
No matter what anyone thinks of his personal life, Mr. Cruise has a reputation as one of the hardest working men in show business, with an unparalleled work ethic.
“The one thing you hear the most about Tom Cruise as an actor is that this is the guy who commits,” said Mr. Karger of Fandango.com. “From ‘Rock of Ages’ to ‘Tropic Thunder’ to an action-heavy movie like ‘Jack Reacher,’ this is the guy. It’s superhuman, the energy he puts into a performance. As long as that remains his work ethic, he can do things like this for a long time.”
Paramount is squarely back in the Tom Cruise business with “Jack Reacher,” a solid action tale with decent reviews. If fans turn up, it could be another franchise for him and Paramount.
For the near future, there are no deviations from the sorts of movies that have worked for Mr. Cruise in the past, no “Lions for Lambs” or “Rock of Ages.” Next year, he stars in the sci-fi yarn “Oblivion,” playing a repairman fighting aliens on a decimated Earth. “All You Need Is Kill” is another Cruise-against-creatures tale, about a soldier caught in a time loop in which he relives his death over and over in a battle with aliens.
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