Oliver Stone probably couldn’t wait to get his hands on Tom Cruise. Along comes a fresh-faced, clean-cut, all-American movie star, and Stone casts him as an embittered, wheelchair-bound alcoholic, with a penchant for prostitutes and the occasional punch-up.
And what a performance he gets from him. As the film begins, it seems as though it’s business as usual, with Cruise as poster-boy for the US army on their jaunt to Vietnam. However, his transformation into raging anti-war activist is nothing short of remarkable, as Cruise sets about shutting up every critic who’d ever sneered at his pretty-boy image. Coupled with
, this was the film that announced a genuine heavyweight onto the Hollywood map.
Charm or Smarm?
Puffed up to bursting with Uncle Sam’s particular brand of self-belief, a quick bullet through the spine introduces a drastic change of pace.