Wednesday, 4 July 2012
Tom Cruise is 50
Huffington Post, to the New York Daily News is focussing on his marital difficulties. His fiftieth just made me think of how many of his films I have thoroughly enjoyed. My favourite with an 86% rating on the film site Rotten Tomatoes is Collateral. Cruise plays the mean, driven, psychopathic but at the same time incredibly attractive contract killer Vincent perfectly. The best thing about this film is the juxtaposition of Jamie Foxx's sweet, shy, thoroughly decent taxi driver, Max - a decent guy pitted against a ruthless one who has nothing to lose. Max, who is kidnapped by Vincent to act as his driver during a spree of killings has everything to gain. Right from the start, you are desperate for Max a warm but weak man to become stronger and conquer Vincent. It's a classic fairy tale like George and the dragon or David and Goliath. True, Cruise's character is the attractive, smooth-talking, brisk alpha-male and Max the mild-mannered taxi driver is totally beta in comparison. But as the story unfolds, Cruise's character forces Max into standing up for himself. Max NEEDS those lessons in life so badly and you know that without Cruise exploding into his life he would never have found the impetus to stand up for himself, grab the girl and attain alpha male characteristics himself. The film was an object lesson in good story telling. Above all, as we're saying Happy Birthday to Mr Cruise, it was a great acting tour de force from both men. A thoroughly satisfying use of two hours of my life which is all you can really ask from a film. As a writer, (my latest is The Sanctuary published by Astraea Press) this film was an object lesson in characterisation with two leads at totally the opposite end of the spectrum. I could watch it again and again. Thank you Tom, and Happy Birthday!!