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  • Writer's pictureHunter Friesen

"Vanilla Sky" Throwback Review

Say what you want about Tom Cruise as a person, but you can't deny him as an actor. He has that movie star charism and charm that makes him so undeniable, even though you know what he's like when not in front of a camera.

His output at the turn of the millennium is what most intrigues me as he has Eyes Wide Shut, Magnolia (my favorite movie of all-time), and Vanilla Sky right in a row. There's also Mission: Impossible II in the middle of that streak to maintain his franchise credibility. The less said about that movie, the better.

Vanilla Sky is something I admired a lot more than I enjoyed. It's an absolutely batshit crazy movie led by an A-list cast produced on a large budget and helmed by an auteur who isn't afraid to add their signature to this large canvas. I know it's a cliché thing to say, but they don't make these kinds of movies anymore and I wish that they did.

While great in the role, Cruise may be miscast here as his smug charm prevents me from granting his character any sympathy. Cameron Crowe already made fireworks with Cruise in Jerry Maguire, and I think the allure of working with him again was just too much. Penélope Cruz is great as the MPDG to Cruise, and Diaz goes full Norman Bates.

Vanilla Sky keeps you guessing and re-guessing with its endless twists & turns, which often make you question what kind of reality this movie exists in. I won't say it comes together in a satisfying way, but that doesn't take away from the respect I have for Crowe to take his audience off the deep end.

A second watch will be needed, of which I will be looking forward to.


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