So how’s it looking for Tom Cruise Jr? Well, the projections, they’re ranging from as low as $7 million to a very optimistic $15 million. But no one thinks it’ll get higher than 4th place. What? But what about the power of the 12 year old girl? Well, the critics aren’t 12. And the critics... they are not being kind:
“To give Mr. Lautner his due, he is a martial-arts dervish with perfectly sculptured abs. His acting, however, is another matter.” - The New York Times
And, um, that was one of the more delicate reviews. Many of the others sound a lot like this:
“This may be the first film I've even seen where when an actor goes to put his hand thoughtfully on his chin, it's so awkward I became afraid he'd somehow miss and poke himself in the eye.” - Movieline
This has always been my problem with Lautner. It’s that trained earnestness. Being earnest authentically is a fine quality in a human being. It’s a very, very weird quality in a packaged automatic Hollywood money machine who doesn’t actually know what real feelings feel like. Having said that, I am not 12. Taylor Lautner’s problem going forward though is whether or not he’ll ever be able to move beyond appealing to a 12 year old. Justin Bieber looks to have a better chance of this than he does right now.