In an age where "movie stars" are a dying breed, Tom Cruise continues to be a name that hooks audiences across the globe. Not every film of his is a hit, but his presence automatically bumps up the cred of a blockbuster into event film territory.
The secret to Cruise's success might be a balancing act: he packs gargantuan clout and a desire for big, bad action stunts, but he's also drawn to everymen. By day, he's a billionaire actor/producer, but between his Mission: Impossible outings, he opts to play blue collar characters. He was a New Jersey crane operator in War of the Worlds, an ex-military man in this year's Jack Reacher, and an argument could be made for the fact that his soldier character in The Last Samurai was just a guy paying the bills.
Cruise continues his trend of regular joes getting the job done in his next movie, Oblivion. After the debut of an eerie poster last week, the first trailer has appeared online, and it sports Cruise's signature mix of a larger-than-life story starring a down-to-earth guy. His character, Jack Harper, soars across the ravaged planes of a post-apocalyptic Earth, fixing "drones" and preparing to leave the planet once and for all. Amidst the high tech flying machines, pant suits, and weaponry, Jack adjust his Yankees hat and remembers the past. See, he's just like you!
Whether Cruise can embody humanity in this epic sci-fi is the film's major question mark, but Oblivion certainly sports all the flashy imagery one would hope for from an adventure of this scale. Tron: Legacy director Joe Kosinski once again fills the screen with sleek vehicular designs and fluid camera motions. Morgan Freeman dressed as a cape-wearing character lost from The Matrix feels like a cherry on top.
Check out Mr. Cruise and hints of the film's intriguing mystery in the trailer below. Oblivion lands in theaters April 19, 2013.
Follow Matt Patches on Twitter @misterpatches
[Photo Credit: Universal Pictures]