Cinema As Image Rehab

James Pinkerton penned an interesting piece positing that Mission: Impossible 3 is as much an image rehab attempt by Tom Cruise as it is the kickoff film for this summer’s blockbuster season. To wit:

MALE VOICE IN THE MACHINE: “Your mission, should you decide to accept it, is to convince people that you are normal.”
TOM CRUISE: “Negative. I’m not credible as normal. I tried it on ‘Oprah,’ and it didn’t work. After I started yelling and jumping on the couch, people wrote me off forever as normal.”
VOICE: “Roger that. But we can’t give up on all that we have invested in you, on this billion-dollar ‘Mission: Impossible’ franchise. So we go with ‘Plan B’: In the next installment, ‘M:I:3’ you will play yourself, as you always do, with all your freaky intensity. But we will write the script as a point-by-point refutation of your critics. The critics might not be persuaded, but fans might buy it, and besides, it’ll be fun to hit back!”
CRUISE: “Yes, sir. Thank you for giving me this opportunity, sir. I think I can accomplish this mission.”

Go read the whole thing – pop pyschology and Scientology make appearances, although THE BABY BELONGS TO XENU, unfortunately, does not.