Oh, we all know the many reasons to dislike Tom Cruise these days. You don't just have to be Nicole Kidman or Brooke Shields or Katie Holmes's parents in order to get your hate on for the wee tabloid magnet. You could simply be non-fans of the Celebrity Baby Name Generator trend that yielded "Suri" as the new "Apple." Or perhaps you read that hefty-ass Scientology exposé in Rolling Stone (you know, the one that drove Kirstie Alley crazy? -er?) and made the correct decision to be freaked out by any-and-everyone associated with that freaky cult.
Me, I've managed to forge new territory in the field of hating Tom Cruise. Because here's the thing: I'd really like to be able to see Mission: Impossible III. It's weird. I wasn't exactly enamored with the first M:I movie, and I never even saw the second one. I don't like Tom Cruise, so why would I? But this third one...for one thing, it's the big screen directorial debut of J.J. Abrams, and much as I may harp on Lost from time to time, I was (and still kind of am, I'll admit with only a bit of shame) a huge Alias fan, and I'm interested to see what he's going to do with a franchise that essentially says, "Go frigging nuts, so long as you pack this shit with enough close-ups of Tom."
Goddamn that Tom Cruise. War of the Worlds was one thing. I was able to not see that and didn't miss anything besides twitchy-ass Tim Robbins and Dakota "Junior Miss Lucifer" Fanning. But check out the cast for M:I-3: chock full of actors I really like and would jump at the chance to see in the same movie if not for a certain couch-jumping, child-bride-abducting, litigious A-lister.
Let's go down the list, shall we?
Keri Russell: She's was excellent when paired with Abrams on Felicity. Then she went away. She was very good as part of the Upside of Anger ensemble last year, and it's nice to see her in such a high profile project.
Phillip Seymour Hoffman: Okay, so I wasn't always the biggest fan of the recent Oscar winner. Words like "overrated" and "irritating" maybe have been bandied about. But I really liked him in Capote, and when you realize that he's made a shitload of movies, the ones where I liked him (Magnolia; State and Main) tend to stack up against the ones where he was super annoying (Red Dragon; Cold Mountain). From the looks of the trailer, he's in scenery-chewing mode, but...it's a ludicrously-plotted explosion-happy espionage summer blockbuster. There's scenery to spare.
Laurence Fishburne: Who doesn't love Laurence Fishburne? He's like the chocolate sprinkles of movie stars. Sure, it can be delicious without him, but it's even better if he's around.
Billy Crudup: My Billy Crudup fixation is well-documented. I'll see him in pretty much anything.
Simon Pegg: I like him enough that I actually spent five minutes trying to figure out what the hell Doctor Who was all about just because he was in the particular episode I stumbled upon. Then I changed the channel in bewildered disgust. That Shaun of the Dead goodwill can only take you so far.
Michelle Monaghan: Everyone tells me she was excellent in Kiss, Kiss, Bang, Bang. Until that comes out on DVD, I'll say that she was better than I anticipated in North Country.
Jonathan Rhys Myers: Shut up, he was really good in Velvet Goldmine!
Ving Rhames: Eh. Though I will always remember him fondly for blubbering like a crazy person and foisting his Golden Globe onto an unsuspecting Jack Lemmon.
Greg Grunberg and Carla Gallo: Tertiary characters on cult TV shows rule! Grunberg rocked Felicity and Alias; Gallo was awesome on Undeclared and Carnivàle. What's not to love?
Damn that Tom Cruise and his evil Scientologist agenda! This is a perfectly viable summer movie. Why does he have to ruin it, and everything else, by existing? Can't he follow his fellow cult members' examples and make really shitty movies and gain a lot of weight?
You know, fuck it. I'm just gonna see it. Cruise is going to be all over TV and the internet this summer anyway. It's not like avoiding this movie will keep his creepiness out of my life. And what else am I gonna see this summer? Superman? Not effing likely.