Tom Cruise’s Triumph of the Will

I thought we, as a people, had collectively pushed past this ridiculous notion that Tom Cruise is no longer a bankable movie star. Why not? Because he hopped a couch and made a video? I know Valkyrie’s long hard road to a release date had many people wondering if the man whose movies have grossed $6.5 billion worldwide was all of a sudden a kiss of box-office death. Today, the New York Times published a lengthy piece on how the studio is trying to divert attention away from Cruise’s starring role, and what Valkyrie’s performance means for the future of Cruise’s career — implying that if it doesn’t break bank, Tom’s career will no longer be in cruise control.

With no more high-profile projects lined up — IMDB has his next as a comedy directed by the guy who did School For Scoundrels — could they be right? Not likely. Valkyrie will do wonders overseas because Cruise Inc. is a global enterprise (again: $6.5 billion). But after the misfire that was Lions for Lambs, he’s suddenly not a sure thing Stateside. But Valkyrie, and therefore Cruise, will triumph. First of all, Valkyrie will be released to a majority of positive reviews, since a Bryan Singer film has never garnered otherwise, let alone one co-starring top-notch thesps like Bill Nighy, Kenneth Brannagh, and Tom Wilkinson. Secondly, the buzz alone surrounding this film, be it good or bad, will stoke the curiosity of everyone who’ll pay to see either the demise or the resurrection of one of our only real movie stars. And thirdly, it’s Tom f*cking Cruise plotting to assassinate Hitler, and there ain’t nothing more American than that.

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