Why Does Tom Cruise Run So Much in Movies?

I meant to post this a few weeks ago when Tom Cruise had a new movie, but I’m a little late to the story.

Back on October 17, Slashfilm posted a video showing every Tom Cruise run in a movie. I’ve seen a number of Cruise movies (I’m a fan of the Mission: Impossible series in particular, and I loved Edge of Tomorrow), and while I’ve noticed that he seems to run a lot, I didn’t quite realize how much of a staple to his career it is.

Seriously. The video of Tom Cruise running is over 18 minutes long! That’s a lot of footage.

Here’s my theory: Cruise has perfected the art of running on film. It’s kind of an overly dramatic version of actual sprinting–that is, if you put Usain Bolt in a movie, you would be more entertained by Cruise’s style of running because he makes it look more intense than it really is.

You can really see this in the uncut footage near the end of Mission: Impossible III (it starts at 11:55). It’s really intense!

I’ve been comparing this footage to Usain Bolt. It’s actually pretty similar, but Bolt is much more on his toes, and he glides, unlike Cruise’s precise, overexaggerated movements (see this at 14:18). Also, a sprinter usually has a very relaxed face during a race, while Cruise is much more expressive.

I just think it’s cool that there’s an art to running on film. Well done, Cruise.