If Mission: Impossible III had come out two years ago, before couch jumping entered the national lexicon, would it have been a different movie? Would I still have rolled my eyes when Tom Cruise screwed up his face in faux determination? Would the opening-night audience with which I saw the flick still have tittered when he ostentatiously proclaimed his love for a naive, girlish brunette? Would the movie still have felt slick but overwhelmingly silly, the story not of a superspy but of a superstar playacting at espionage?
Cruise’s primary strength as an actor has always been his charisma, and his shenanigans of late have damaged that critical attribute. If he fails to convince us of his sincerity and sanity when he's just being himself, how can he hope to do so when he's playing characters on the big screen?