Is Tom Cruise the Fastest Runner On Film?

By: Will Blase

You’ve seen the movies, the memes and the pain faces. Tom Cruise isn’t just known for his acting ability-- the veteran-actor has had a running scene in all but eight of his movies. Eight movies out of his 51 acting credits. Maybe it’s the love of movement, maybe it’s a desire to win the hearts of high school girls; who knows? Cruise claimed he could run at 17 mph when he was younger and, thanks to the passion of some film detectives, we know that Cruise hovered around 15 mph during Mission Impossible III’s famous running sequence (he was 43 at the time). This averages to 60 second 400m times, which is pretty dang fast. Sure, it’s not elite speed, but he’d certainly smoke this amateur. But how would Cruise hold up against other actors that have famous running sequences? Let’s hit the starting blocks. 

Get Out

Oh, yes. First up is the iconic scene in Jordan Peele’s “Get Out.” Daniel Kaluuya’s character walks outside for a quick smoke sesh, only to find Marcus Henderson hauling absolute ass out of the forest right toward Kahluuya, cutting to the right just moments before impact. And that’s why you don’t smoke, kids. Listen, if I saw an absolute unit sprinting at me from the woods, you can bet your bottom dollar that I’d turn-heel and run for my life. New PB incoming. Verdict: Hot out of the blocks, Henderson might be Cruise’s toughest on-screen competition.  

Rocky II

Ok, this is a tough one because of my undying love for Rocky. From the moment the trumpets kick in, you know we’re flyin’, baby. But ol’ Rock really isn’t moving that fast in “Rocky II.” He’s definitely playing up the crowd (literal children, mind you) and saves his final kick when those legendary stairs leading up to the Philadelphia Museum of Art are in his sight. And that kit? No chance Stallone is beating Cruise in a sweatsuit. Verdict: Stick to boxing. Cruise would dust Stallone any day of the week.

Raiders of the Lost Ark

Sorry, Indy. I’ve gotta give this one to Cruise. Sure, it’s impressive outrunning a boulder inside a booby-trapped cave, but we all knew Indy was going to get out alive. I mean, Raiders of the Lost Ark literally starts with Indy making his way through the cave. There’s no way he couldn’t outrun the boulder. With a movie run-time to make and a big budget actor like Harrison Ford, the film had to give him some fleet-feet to keep the adventure alive. Verdict: Ford has got some moves, but Cruise is going to make him wish he stayed in that cave. 

Forrest Gump

“... You can tell a lot about a person by their shoes, where they going, where they been.” You sure can tell a lot about Forrest Gump by the shoes he wears, from the moment he breaks free of his leg braces to the moment he blazes past his bullies and stuns University of Alabama head coach Bear Bryant with lightning speed. Forrest Gump is fast. Like a 4.01 second 40m fast. But Forrest Gump is just a character. Tom Hanks in his pair of oh-so-slick Nike Cortez’s isn’t Forrest Gump fast… that’s just movie magic, baby. Verdict: Cruise would bully Hanks in an all-out dash. 

Final Verdict: 

Cruise has got the jets and the form required to back up his claims. He’s quick on the turns and a rocket on the straights, something that Henderson, Stallone, Ford and Hanks just don’t bring to the table. I would love to see them all race in Harrier kits though. 

At their primes: Cruise in first, Henderson in second, Hanks lagging a bit behind in third, Ford at a respectable fourth and Stallone bringing in the rear. Don’t agree with my take? Let us know who you think the fastest on-screen runner is in the comments below!