Tag Archives: Tom Cruise

Review: American Made (2017)

Stars: Tom CruiseDomhnall GleesonSarah Wright.

Director: Doug Liman

The plot:

A commercial airline pilot, Barry Seal (Tom Cruise), lands a job with the C.I.A. taking aerial photography and running guns in South America whilst doubling up as a drug smuggler for Pablo Escobar.  American Made charts the rise and fall of this hapless chancer and how it changed his life and details some of the escapades he endured during the Ronald Reagan administration of the nineteen eighties.


The cast:

The cast list is not huge and is hardly filled with household names and Tom Cruise has not been having the best of years.  The correctly scourned update on The Mummy did not perform well and he’s also suffered injury whilst filming the latest Mission Impossible instalment.  How do things go here? Well, not great in all honesty.  It’s a typical Cruise role and whilst he makes a good fist of it he’s left wanting when it comes to doing much with the story here.  Domhnall Gleeson does little better as ‘Schafer”, Seal’s agency handler.  He has limited screen time and you’d have to wonder what the director would have given him to do had their been more available.  Sarah Wright is the only one who provides any kind of spark as Seal’s wife, Lucy, but again only short spells on-screen for Wright mean that the spark only glimmers very briefly.


The film:

There’s very little to say about American Made, which is why this article isn’t going to get anywhere near my usual sort of word count.  The film is, in a word, DULL.  It completely fails to spike the imagination and the character of Barry Seal fails to evoke any kind of empathy.  I really didn’t care what happened to him.  The story is told in a very humdrum fashion and it’s just a repetitive sequence of plane rides and deliveries.  The film was based on true events and, that said, they are usually overly glorified versions of what really happened to add that dramatic effect.  I can only imagine how mundane and uninteresting the actual event must have been at the time if that’s the level of entertainment the film manages to drum up.  More imaginative writing and direction are what this story so sorely missed out on.

The verdict: 2/5 Stars: American Mess

American Made on IMDb

American Made Official Website


Review: The Mummy (2017)

Stars: Tom CruiseRussell CroweAnnabelle WallisSofia Boutella.

Director: Alex Kurtzman

The plot:

At the time of the second of the English crusades, Ahmanet (Sofia Boutella) is mummified alive as punishment for murdering her Father when she sees what is rightfully hers transfer to his new-born son whom she also murders.  What she saw as a betrayal by her Father led her to tap into dark and demonic powers.  Once mummified she is taken thousands of miles from her Egyptian home and buried well below the surface in what is known in current times as Iraq.  Back in the modern-day and army officers Nick Morton (Tom Cruise) and Chris Vail (Jake Johnson) are seeking out hidden treasures to make their tours all that little bit more profitable.  When an airstrike unearths the ancient ruins of where Ahmanet was laid to rest Morton and Vail see dollar signs but they are soon hampered by the arrival of Jenny Halsey (Annabelle Wallis) who wants the find to be safely shipped back to London where Dr. Henry Jekyll (Russell Crowe) is waiting to investigate the find.  The trip back does not go well and soon Ahmanet is unleashed on the British public in search of her “chosen one” and will stop at nothing to reclaim what she believes is hers.

Universal Pictures

The cast:

I like Tom Cruise, let’s get that out of the way.  He does make well above average movies for the most part.  Unfortunately this is a very low point for Tom.  I was worried before I saw the film that this really didn’t strike me as a genre he had any history with and that it wasn’t a good fit for him.  He’s not the Indiana Jones type and he does not sit right in a Tomb Raider style movie.  If the rumours are to be believed that he had a lot of control over the movie then there’s only one place the finger can be pointed for any short comings the film suffers from.  To be fair, blame does not lay just at Tom Cruise’s door.  Russell Crowe, a great actor by any standards, really doesn’t do himself any favours here either.  There’s a part where he becomes manically possessed and starts hurling Tom Cruise around whilst giving his best impression on Ray Winstone on speed.  It’s just cringeworthy.  I’d hoped Annabelle Wallis might bring some respectability to the film, she’s obviously not incapable of playing a strong female role given her time on Peaky Blinders but here she is given the usual female supporting role you would expect and there’s not much she can do with it.  In contrast Sofia Boutella does make the film come alive at times but that isn’t really down to her acting but more the CGI effects the film offers up.  She really isn’t given the time and space she was offered in her very enjoyable role as Jaylah in Star Trek Beyond.


The film:

Put simply; this film is a disaster from start to finish.  It was dull and boring for large periods of time.  It was painfully unfunny when it tried to be.  Performances were well below par and as for the script and screenplay I’d have to ask if there was any script or screenplay written.  The story has plot holes galore and lots of key elements are left totally unexplained.  It’s just messy, lacks structure and it’s conclusion just leaves a heavy confirmation that you’ve just wasted two hours of your life.

The Verdict:

1/5 Stars – If this were a mission impossible movie I would have chosen not to accept it, Mr Phelps.

The Mummy on IMDb

The Mummy Official Website

Jack Reacher Never Go Back (2016)

Stars: Tom CruiseCobie SmuldersDanika YaroshPatrick HeusingerRobert Knepper.

Director: Edward Zwick

As I couldn’t really recall much about the first Jack Reacher movie I had to return to Flixster to see exactly what I thought of it.  As I couldn’t remember anything to begin with, it was no surprise that my words then reflected an average movie hoping for better should there be a follow-up, and here we are, in much the same place as we were before.

The trailer for Never Go Back almost gives you the opening five minutes of the actual film.  Reacher (Cruise) takes down a crooked Sheriff and then looks to make his way to DC to check in with the never met before Major Turner (Smulders) who he has been having something of a telephone relationship with as part of his escapades as a civilian.  Upon his arrival he finds Turner has been arrested for espionage and despite her request not to, naturally, Reacher investigates.


At the outset of investigations, Reacher is informed he is an absent Father to a fifteen year old, Sam (Yarosh).  At first Reacher does not believe this but doubt does enter his mind as the film unfolds.  I’d have to say that I would be praying she wasn’t my daughter as Yarosh is the most annoying character there could be, a typical example of the annoying teenager with issues.  This should come as no surprise given her performances in the ill-fated Heroes Reborn series.

It’s a little unclear as to how the plot is set up.  Reacher breaks out Turner and they set about clearing her name and, after her replacement is murdered apparently to authorities by Reacher, he too becomes a fugitive.  Two officers are murdered in Afghanistan and Turner is implicated.  As it moves on the movie will loosely reveal that the real story is about arms deals by US officials led by another Heroes and Prison Break player, Robert Knepper.  Desperate for their deals to remain unnoticed they put Turner in the frame for the murders.


I’d hoped for something a bit grittier from this movie but it left me bored at times.  For the way the Jack Reacher character has been built up I expected Cruise to be in meaner moods but it gets so embarrassing at times that it leans towards comedy.  It even descends into a battle of the sexes between Reacher and his two female counter parts.  If he was as much the hard-nosed loner character he was meant to be, rightly or wrongly, he wouldn’t have stood for it and got on with doing things his way.

In terms of action there’s very little to speak of, the odd fire fight and a fairly brutal combat sequence between Reacher and “The Hunter” (Heusinger) at the film’s climax but not much more of any real note to write about.  The Hunter was one redeeming feature of the movie, if Reacher has taken that attitude we’d have had a good scrap on our hands.  Couple that with the fact the Knepper is worthy of so much more screen time and dialogue but gets very little, it all feels a little empty.  Much like the first film, it just doesn’t deliver a punch.

Verdict: 2 Stars – Ethan Hunt left after the first five minutes.

Jack Reacher Never Go Back on IMDb

Jack Reacher Never Go Back Official Website