But this might be the first time that Cruise's ability to bend the blockbuster apparatus to his will has been completely overwhelmed by the grueling and increasingly globalized concerns of the market place. Director Alex Kurtzman, who co-wrote the first two Star Trek and Transformers movies, shoots the whole film in a gray haze that never allow the elaborate stunt scenes to pop. Judging from this movie, he doesn't have the eye for action that Transformers auteur Michael Bay brought to his scripts or Star Trek director J.J. Abrams's ease with character.
Similarly, the three credited screenwriters -- Christopher McQuarrie, David Koepp, and Dylan Kussman -- provide Cruise's protagonist with an enjoyable "scoundrel finds a heart" arc, but unlike the actor's 2014 vehicle Edge of Tomorrow, which followed a soldier on the path to self-awareness, the writers don't pair him off against a worthy adversary like Emily Blunt. He's adrift here. Digging for treasure that's not there.