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Before the world at large gets a chance to see Tom Cruise hanging off of airplanes and diving into underwater action sequences in MIssion Impossible: Rogue Nation, we got to see him at his low-budget finest on The Tonight Show as he took on Jimmy Fallon in a battle of mostly outstanding lip syncing. Meat Loaf. Rolling Stones. The Weeknd. It’s all here.
Love him or hate him, Tom Cruise is undeniably a superstar entertainer, and it doesn’t take much to set off the charm-oozing, and not even keeping him quiet can stop the Cruise-inator (or a cooler nickname), as that one scene in Top Gun originally proved. But that song comes later. First, Cruise shows off his modern side by embracing one of the biggest songs of 2015, The Weeknd’s “Can’t Feel My Face.”
And while it’s an enjoyable take on the song, things don’t get really real until Fallon kicks off The Rolling Stones’ “Undercover of the Night.” My mind started wondering what a Mick Jagger biopic would look like with Fallon in the lead, which is a thought that previously would have cured me of “good dreams” and “a non-upset stomach,” but now I think I might like it. He’s got the in-your-camera’s-face moves, and he didn’t even laugh at himself the entire time. It probably takes more than that, but still.
Back to Cruise, who knows a thing or two about rocking out from the film Rock of Ages. He brings it all back to his youth, when things that we’ll just assume are too hot for TV happened in parking lots, and he unleashes his dual personalities for Meat Loaf’s anthem “Paradise by the Dashboard Light.” Even though Fallon might not have known what Cruise was going to pick, the camera operators sure did, and this self-duet was captured perfectly.
And now I’m praying for the end of time, so I can have enough time to focus on my own lip syncing skills. But regardless of how much practice I get, there’s no way I could top the duo’s performance of the Righteous Brothers’ “You’ve Lost That Loving Feeling,” a track that I’m certain millions of dude in the 1980s (codenamed Maverick, of course) used to creep on women in bars. Fallon and Cruise head into the audience, where they silently serenade a lucky/unlucky woman in the front row. If this isn’t magic, then magic doesn’t exist.
I don’t know that Tom Cruise would ever make his way over to Spike’s Lip Sync Battle, but Fallon needs to grease some wheels on making that happen. Until then, we’ve got our fingers crossed that Bob the Musical turns into a reality soon. What will The Tonight Show get into next? Find out every weeknight on NBC.