Why is James Corden so much less annoying than Jimmy Fallon? Why did I ask such an annoying question? Sorry. Another annoying question though: do you think Jimmy Fallon is threatened by James Corden? Does he go around asking people, “Do you think Hugh Jackman likes James Corden more than he likes me?”
Last year, Jimmy Fallon got Tom Cruise to lip sync battle on The Tonight Show. I enjoyed it. Last night, James Corden got Tom Cruise to recreate some of the highlights from his movie career. And I loved it. This kind of segment only really works with a Tom Cruise or a Tom Hanks, because you know the movies. Because the person next to you knows the movies. And few movie stars these days can make that claim. You recognise the escalator from Rain Man, you know the plane from Rogue Nation, and of course, OF COURSE you know the phone call. The SHOW ME THE MONEY phone call. Which is why you can’t help yourself but be delighted by the cameo. You are also delighted in the courtroom. He delivers his lines in the courtroom exactly the way he did in the movie! “I want the truth!”
And the reason why there’s no awkwardness here, no stilted Tom Cruiseness that we’ve sadly had to become familiar with over the last decade, is because this entire sketch is completely suited to Tom’s strengths. Tom Cruise has only done one thing consistently the last 30 years: make movies. And what they asked him to do was, essentially, to make a 9 minute movie of his own movies. This is his comfort zone. And this is also why at the very end, for Risky Business, I mean, it’s like no time has passed at all. I’d believe you if you told me he watches this scene of himself every day. And besides, this is totally what they do at their secret little Scientology parties, isn’t it?
PS. Joanna wanted some Magnolia in this. I wanted Far & Away.