Follying around



Odys Korczyński

21 August 2023

Tom Cruise has never really appeared in a bad movie, and even if the film itself was weaker than the best ones, which means still good, Cruise’s performance was good or excellent. Tom Cruise is a peculiar guarantee for all titles. When he steps onto the scene, reality bends, like in Rock of Ages, and although it may seem like an illusion, the audience feels fantastic with them, except for the journalist from “Rolling Stone” magazine. However, this scene must be seen, along with many others in the films listed below, less known and often underrated compared to blockbusters like Top Gun or Mission: Impossible. Tom Cruise still hasn’t won an Oscar. I’m just reminding you because we’re all surely curious about when and if it will happen, and for which role.

"The Mummy", 2017, dir. Alex Kurtzman

Without a doubt, the biggest problem of the movie is the genre separation, but that’s the fault of the script, which surprises me given who wrote it. Nevertheless, labeling this version of The Mummy as a radical opposite of the 1999 version is unjust. Both films are fundamentally similar, with the difference that The Mummy with Brendan Fraser handles the multi-genre aspect better. On the other hand, The Mummy with Tom Cruise excels visually, perfectly constructing action scenes, and features a character whose masculinity competes more with Indiana Jones than the screen persona created by Fraser. Another advantage of the film is Russell Crowe, and it’s regrettable that his character didn’t have enough time to shine. With an enchantingly beautiful antagonist like Sofia Boutella by his side, he could have stolen the entire film. I might not live to see it, but Alex Kurtzman’s The Mummy deserves a sequel, also with Tom Cruise, whom the ominous Scientology serves devilishly.

"Far and Away", 1992, dir. Ron Howard

In 1993, the song “Book of Days” from the film received a Razzie nomination. It’s hard to believe, especially when you listen to that track and then play Céline Dion’s “My Heart Will Go On” right after. Among the 11 Oscars that James Cameron’s Titanic won, this song got one of them. It’s hard to believe when you analyze the musical layer of both tracks. Fortunately, the rest of Far and Away didn’t receive any more Razzie nominations, but today it’s a forgotten film. Everyone remembers Wuthering Heights, but Far and Away is a downright mysterious production, yet is is an excellent combination of romance, drama, adventure, and western. Boldly, one can say that it’s one of the best films in the careers of both Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman.


"Legend", 1985, dir. Ridley Scott

Indeed, the youth fascinated by Harry Potter doesn’t know this film, yet they would probably enjoy it. There’s no CGI here, but the makeup is at such a high level that computer effects aren’t necessary at all. They are there, of course, but in those times, they didn’t dominate as they do today. In Tom Cruise’s filmography, as well as Ridley Scott’s, Legend is a less popular film. Both were at the beginning of their careers. Both tried to come off as best as they could, which worked out better for Scott than Cruise, nevertheless, Legend should be appreciated more along with not just pointing out that he was young, looked like he had just come out of school, or lacked some finesse in moments where more emotions needed to be shown, not just physical agility.

"The Outsiders", 1983, dir. Harold Becker

Indeed, it’s madness to live with dignity in a world that disregards all dignity – this is an important statement made by General Harlan Bache (George C. Scott), a man who has nothing left in life but his uniform. The question is, does such lack of alternatives satisfy his cadets? Probably, he would like that kind of radical devotion, but not everything can be predicted in a life that isn’t solely about wearing a uniform. The Outsiders is a completely unknown title in Tom Cruise’s filmography, but in this case, it’s not about him. The film itself is important, a story of dedication bordering on madness, a reflection of the American film world and society on being a soldier in times of peace, although it’s an incredibly fragile state because the USA is constantly involved in some kind of war.

"Rock of Ages", 2012, dir. Adam Shankman

It starts completely unrock-like, more candy-pop, relatively glam-metal. The era of rock is, after all, a spectacular musical, a modern opera with rearranged hits of pop music from the 80s and 90s. There’s style and atmosphere, not just recitation of monotonous musical themes to say as much as possible. The characters are colorful, just like the setting. They all stand out, but… Among them, however, we find the most outstanding personality, although his first appearance in a peculiar outfit, especially the underwear that simulates a large penis, might not be to everyone’s liking – this character is played by Tom Cruise. Stacee Jaxx, whose music soothes best after losing a hamster, is a unique character in Cruise’s career. He’s a parody of a rocker, prematurely old, bitter, perpetually drunk, but still charming enough that people faint at his sight. That’s how a legend works, and the scene with the “Rolling Stone” journalist should be cited as an example of Tom Cruise’s acting prowess. Unfortunately, the production is completely unknown compared to other films he’s played in. Critics aren’t rushing to rate it, and viewers aren’t rushing to watch it.

"Lions for Lambs", 2007, dir. Robert Redford

The subject matter and the way it’s presented had a major impact on ratings and viewer interest. It’s drastically low when compared to the caliber of actors – who star in the film – and the director, who is also an actor, perhaps even more than a director. Robert Redford aimed for intimacy, for a conversation experience with few action interludes, which doesn’t really match the main plot. And Tom Cruise outshines Meryl Streep with his acting charm.

"Knight and Day", 2010, dir. James Mangold

It absolutely cannot be said that this film is unknown, like Rock of Ages nor is it poorly acted. Perhaps the chemistry between Cameron Diaz and Tom Cruise wasn’t as professional and emotional as between him and Nicole Kidman, but you can’t accuse this title of lacking interesting action, poor balance, or even boredom. In James Mangold’s production, everything that should be in an action comedy is present. However, the film is rated relatively low, especially by critics. Some viewers are also strangely surprised that suddenly there are so many gags in action movies, and there’s this deliberate winking at the audience, squinting to self-parody the topic of a serious action drama about fighting bad, sad criminals. More looseness.

Odys Korczyński

Odys Korczyński

For years he has been passionate about computer games, in particular RPG productions, film, medicine, religious studies, psychoanalysis, artificial intelligence, physics, bioethics, as well as audiovisual media. He considers the story of a film to be a means and a pretext to talk about human culture in general, whose cinematography is one of many splinters.

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