A lot of stories are being written this week about Tom Cruise's starpower hinging on the success of Knight and Day. Speculation by some box office watchers has three days of Adam Sandler and his cronies besting five days of Cruise and Diaz. A $3.8 million start on Wednesday is not very optimistic and stories are starting to spread about Cruise's moviestar shelf life; the guy who has headlined only one film (Valkyrie) since December of 1992 that did not break $100 million at the box office. And that was *only* $83 million. Except this is not one of those articles.
Nor is it an article debunking the rumors of his bankability. Nope, it is a chance to look back upon Tom Cruise's work and the lifelines of his characters. Lestat was, seemingly, not the only immortal this guy has played throughout the years. From Pete Maverick to Ethan Hunt, Cruise has been involved in more sticky situations and death-defying scrapes than the Road Runner. But when it comes to near-death experiences, Cruise's doppelgangers are more like Wile E. Coyote. It is unfair to count close calls in dangerous situations or even second act flame outs of jet engines or car crashes that get him choppered away. It was as if he took the John Wayne model to heart since dying in (29 YEAR SPOILER ALERT!) Taps, of all movies, and made it very, very hard to put him under for good.