Happy Birthday Tom Cruise: How Ethan Hunt Redefined Action with Mission Impossible Series
Tom Cruise has left an indelible mark on the history of action films, courtesy of his 'Mission: Impossible' film franchise.
Image of Tom Cruise from MI:6, courtesy of Instagram
Tom Cruise's Mission: Impossible film franchise, which boasts of a collective of six blockbuster films and more to come, forced Hollywood stunt coordinators and action directors to look for more heart-pounding moments of action filmmaking, choreographed fighting and epic stunts to package an out and out action-entertainer. Albeit, many action films prior to MI (1996) and post MI: Fallout (2018) have been successful while working on similar tropes, that of a man/woman of superhuman strength and agility dictating world justice, Cruise as the calm and suave American agent Ethan Hunt truly owns all things action, mean machines and adrenaline.
Still from Mission: Impossible 2
See MI films as Hollywood's version of the British series on James Bond and one realises that Daniel Craig's Bond had to adopt new ways as per changing filmmaking style, courtesy of Cruise and his MI team of makers and experts. Marked by a series of death-defying stunts, Hunt has become the epitome of a vengeful fictional character, who will endure even in the face of a nuclear destruction or international drug mafia.
Still from Mission: Impossible- Fallout
Starting in 1996 with the first installment that earned a reported USD 457.7 million worldwide, the MI franchise has almost doubled in gross revenue when you consider Fallout's worldwide business of USD 791.1 million. In this period of close to 25 years, Cruise's image as the undisputed star of action films in Hollywood has also consolidated. Since MI, Cruise has delivered other action blockbusters with the likes of Minority Report (2002), Knight and Day (2010), Jack Reacher film series (2012-present) and Oblivion (2013) being the most notable ones. Watchers are of the opinion that Cruise is one of the best action film heroes Hollywood has ever produced.
Still from Mission: Impossible
Come to think of it, Cruise's Hunt can free solo mountains cliffs, climb the tallest building on earth and return without a scratch, ride fast bikes and cars in the middle of packed traffic and still vanish in thin air, without raising alarms. That and much, much more is what Cruise has accomplished with one breakout film after the other as action hero. And Cruise does most of his stunts himself, despite them appearing life threatening at times.
Still from Mission: Impossible-Ghost Protocol
Images of the 57-year-old star riding a motorbike in an intricate chase through the streets of Paris or jumping from one building to another have surfaced from the sets time and again, leaving fans bewildered over what sorts of stunts Cruise cannot pull off convincingly.
A delightful moment for Cruise's fans came in the form of MI makers Paramount Pictures announcing that the next couple of films in the global smash hit franchise will release in 2021 and 2022 respectively. Are you as excited to watch the upcoming films as Cruise is in making them? Maybe 57 is not really the age for retirement as people around would have us believe.
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