The reviews for the fifth Mission: Impossible film, opening tonight, have been overwhelmingly positive. This time Sunday, we will all be digesting some very impressive domestic and international box office figures.
In the background, for some reporters, is the topic of Scientology and those shocking allegations aired on HBO involving the movie’s star. Here for example is how Showbiz 411 maestro Roger Friedman ended his recent Rogue Nation thumbs-up:
I’ve been blocked from Cruise’s Twitter page, and I wasn’t allowed into the early screening or premiere of the film because of my writing about Scientology. I can take it, and it doesn’t matter to filmgoers. Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation is a movie’s movie. I enjoyed it thoroughly.
He’s right. The HBO documentary, both damning and officially dismissed, is a less important topic this weekend than the price of concession stand popcorn. A reality examined by The Daily Beast West Coast writer Jen Yamato, under a headline that tags Cruise as “Teflon Tom:”
So why, despite the scandalous allegations linking him to nefarious Scientology deeds in this year’s documentary, Going Clear, do audiences keep flocking to see him save the world as ’90s era superspy Ethan Hunt?
Call it wishful moviegoing: They’re buying tickets for Tom Cruise’s soul.
Per an update at the bottom of the article, a spokesperson for the Church of Scientology called Yamato’s site “The Daily Bigot” and sent along a statement criticizing Yamato for “regurgitating” director Alex Gibney’s “falsehoods.”
Meanwhile, in the comments to Yamato’s rumination, one reader takes another measure of The Daily Beast piece:
neongranny: Oh, oh. I think a call went out to Sea Org when this article appeared. I’ve never seen anyone posting anything favorable about Scientology before on this site.
Across the 100+ comments, only a few readers express that they are no longer buying into the teflon:
borntocode: I used to be a fan, but I can’t watch him anymore knowing that he brainwashed his children against one of his ex-wives, and the other practically had to run for her life in order to keep her child away from Scientology. It’s all very, very sick.
P.S. Thanks to artist Cory Allen, expect a bigger wave of CoS-tinged Cruise online media coverage to crest next weekend.
[Photo of Cruise with Alec Baldwin at July 27 New York M:I premiere: Debby Wong/Shutterstock.com]