Tom Cruise is the last of a dying breed. He's probably the only actor left in Hollywood who can now guarantee a $100 million+ box office return, regardless of whether he's in a franchise (like Mission: Impossible) or operating on his own. He’s still able to sell a movie with his name. Plus, he's also still making terrific films.

Cruise has managed to be both hugely successful and critically acclaimed for a few reasons. He doesn't just repeat himself on screen, and he also looks to eclipse his previous cinematic exploits every time he hits the theaters. Meanwhile, unlike every rival in the action genre, Cruise isn't wrapped up with building a franchise or an expansive cinematic universe. He focuses on creating singular films, even when operating within the Mission: Impossible world. Anytime he goes outside of his lone series, he makes sure that the projects – from Jack Reacher to Edge of Tomorrow -- are equally appealing, impressive, and entertaining.

Basically, Tom Cruise is the only great action actor out there at the moment. And here's why he can and will save the genre.

His Mission: Impossible Franchise Illustrates How To Evolve A Property
I know what you're thinking: Tom Cruise is part of the problem because Mission: Impossible is a franchise and was adapted from a TV series.

But Tom Cruise has elevated the series to such an extent that he is the main selling point for these films now. Each Mission: Impossible sequel doesn’t rely on linking itself to its previous installments. Instead, it makes sure that it can stand on its own as a solo entity, and different directors are even hired for each new film so that they have a different feel, voice, and style. Cruise has given rival action series a blueprint. Will they follow it?

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