Today is Tom Cruise‘s 50th birthday, so why not release a trailer of him fighting like he’s a twenty-something? Cruise stars in Jack Reacher, his latest franchise (or at least attempt). Check out the trailer…

So the set up is that Cruise a bad ass former lawman who will stop at nothing to get his man. There’s a cool car he drives, and then he gets into a bar fight with a bunch of guys that are ill-equiped to deal with Tom Cruise’s stomping face.

There’s something culturally significant about Cruise being unable or unwilling to play older roles, but that time is coming, and coming soon. He’s half a century old now, and playing a credible physical butt kicker will get harder – though Clint Eastwood made In the Line of Fire when he was sixty-three, so anything’s possible, and let’s not forget the geriatric heroics of Sylvester Stallone and much of The Expendables cast.

As anyone who’s read the book will tell you, Tom Cruise is physically all wrong for the part (it probably should have been someone like Dwayne Johnson), and so the film will essentially become a Tom Cruise movie with a action/mystery plot. It comes from director Christopher McQuarrie, and features Werner Herzog, so it’s definitely a must-see if only as a curio. The film opens December 21.

Is there a right time to stop playing an action lead?