American Made is a less successful collaboration between Tom Cruise and Doug Liman than 2014 sci-fi action thriller Edge of Tomorrow, but it’s not Cruise’s fault. In American Made, Cruise continues to be insanely charismatic, here depicting American pilot and notorious arms & drugs smuggler Barry Seal, a larger-than-life figure out of a sordid era of American foreign policy.
A Few Good Men is a scintillating courtroom drama largely thanks to a series of terrific performances by actors in the prime of their careers. The film features a murderer’s row of great actors – Tom Cruise, Demi Moore, Kevin Pollak, Kiefer Sutherland, Jack Nicholson, Kevin Bacon, Cuba Gooding, Jr. – and the performances are universally great.
Jerry Maguire is a great example of how irrelevant genre can be sometimes. Is Jerry Maguire a Tom Cruise vehicle? Is it a romance film? Is it a sports film? Who cares. It’s great, is what it is.
The first movie I saw in 2017 was not a particularly good one, unfortunately. In fact, I was simply bored out of my mind for much of the duration of this film, having to occupy myself with other activities while it played in the background. This movie was, of course, the Tom Cruise starrer Jack Reacher: Never Go Back (hereafter known as Never Go Back). This film is the sequel to a 2012 film that I quite liked; but unlike 2012’s Jack Reacher, Never Go Back is neither written nor directed by Christopher McQuarrie, the Oscar winning scribe behind The Usual Suspects and Edge of Tomorrow, as well as the writer-director of Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation. While it’s simplistic to lay the blame for a dud film at the feet of the writer or director of a film, it also seems as if Christopher McQuarrie has proven himself as a capable writer and director of these kinds of movies, where perhaps the pedigree of those behind Never Go Back (Richard Wenk, Edward Zwick, Marshall Herskovitz) is not as solid. The first Jack Reacher was a taut action thriller with an interesting cast surrounding Tom Cruise, and with a number of effectively engineered action sequences that I can still recall from memory. Never Go Back, on the other hand, has already all but slipped from my memory, its blandness extending both to the action sequences, as well as to the supporting cast, of whom there were only a couple of recognizable faces. It’s an obvious, if necessary, bit of wordplay to suggest that I will never go back to Jack Reacher: Never Go Back.