By: John M Jerva

Today is Friday, July 3rd and it is roughly around 11:19 PM as I write this which means that the day is almost over and since it was another hectic day for me, I wanted to make sure that I served up a very special Happy Birthday to one of the last, great movie stars around as the legendary (yes, he is legendary) Tom Cruise celebrates his 58th birthday today and by looking at him, you wouldn’t think that he was that old. Just look at what the man is doing well into his 50’s as he is one of the greatest action stars (yes, he is an action star) working in modern day cinema.

Cruise is basically drinking from the Fountain of Youth as he has been cranking out some pretty memorable action films like his Mission:Impossible franchise and he is currently filming the latest installment although that one has been delayed like everything else due to the virus.

As we celebrate Cruise’s birthday, I wanted to serve up a special Action Fix which features the man doing what he does best. There are numerous choices to choose from but I felt it was keen to share an action set piece from one of my favorite films of his which is the film adaptation Jack Reacher. Cruise may not look the part as it is described in the books but he certainly still nailed the role which features some of the best hand to hand the man has ever done. He’s also at his bad ass best in this one as well as the sequel.

The scene I have chosen is the finale where Cruise’s Jack Reacher takes on Jai Courtney who plays a pretty bad ass himself in Charlie who is one lethal assassin. The fight is not flashy by any means but sometmes those are the best kind as it is down and dirty with both Cruise and Courtney rising to the occasion to deliver fans a low key but brutal brawl that features great choreography and some serious and intricate moves by both men.

I love the flash of extreme martial arts but I also love the gritty and low tech fights as well as I feel those are harder to do because a lot has to go right and there is a lot more that the participants have to remember. Think of it as a bloody and bone crunching ballet and the timing has to be perfect to get the scene right. Cruise and Courtney definitely have their A game turned up for this one and it is one of my favorite Tom Cruise brawls ever.

Happy Birthday Tom and even though we have to wait a little longer to see the return of his iconic character Pete “Maverick” Mitchell in Top Gun: Maverick, we all know that it will be well worth the wait. In the meantime, watch Cruise take on Courtney, in the rain no less, in the finale from Jack Reacher! HAPPY BIRTHDAY TOM!!!!

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