Tom Cruise's Career Reboot: Mission Possible?

"He has reignited the cool factor he lost by allowing himself to play an unpredictable character. He's replaced the always serious Cruise with the playful Cruise," said Marvet Britto, founder of The Britto Agency, a brand architecture firm. "He's playing to the younger generation. He's saying, 'I can make fun of myself. I can take on a role that's not so serious.' He's opening a gateway to gain a whole new generation of evangelists and supporters."

Next up for Cruise: "Knight & Day," in which he plays a secret agent who corrals Cameron Diaz into a whirlwind, worldwide, somewhat incomprehensible journey to protect a battery that could unlock an infinite power source.

Judging from the trailer, there's a lot of gun shooting, car chasing, motorcycle straddling and "you-must-come-with-me-or-you-will-die"-ing. It's old school Cruise, the kind of guy that dominated adversaries both on screen and at the box office back in the days of "Mission Impossible," the first edition.

If "Knight & Day" opens at No. 1 when it comes out June 23 -- odds are in his favor, since no other wide releases are scheduled that weekend -- perhaps we can proclaim Cruise's career curse cured. That is, of course, assuming he doesn't pontificate his way through the circuit of pre-film press.

"To his credit, he's lightened his tone in public, and teaming with Cameron Diaz could only do him good," Musto said. "So while I don't know all the answers (unlike Tom), there's certainly hope."

The good old days: Tom Cruise in "Mission Impossible."
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