The Fresno Bee (Sunday) - - The Comics -


Cruise is in prime form in the fran­chise’s fourth ad­ven­ture, in part by rap­pelling in Dubai. Cruise is dy­namic as a mo­ti­va­tional speaker who has a strained re­la­tion­ship with his dy­ing fa­ther (Ja­son Ro­bards).

Ar­guably Cruise’s best-rounded per­for­mance, his por­trayal of a sports agent who’s even­tu­ally driven by more than profit is, in a word, great.

Cruise is a fine match for nov­el­ist John Gr­isham’s hero Mitch McDeere, a young at­tor­ney who learns evil lurks be­hind the doors of the Mem­phis law of­fice he’s just joined.

Cruise packs power as a mil­i­tary lawyer try­ing to de­ter­mine who’s ul­ti­mately re­spon­si­ble for an en­listed man’s death by haz­ing. Gambling with his im­age to play Viet­nam War veteran and ac­tivist Ron Kovic, Cruise is su­perb.

Cruise re­acts as much as acts against Dustin Hoff­man’s ster­ling work as an autis­tic sa­vant, and the re­sult is stun­ning.

Cruise holds his own as a young pool shark who takes on the king of hus­tlers, “Fast Ed­die” Fel­son (Paul New­man). As im­pul­sive pi­lot Mav­er­ick, Cruise felt the need for speed. So did mil­lions of movie­go­ers who made this adren­a­line-charged drama one of the big­gest hits in screen his­tory – and a se­quel is forth­com­ing.

The movie that re­ally got things rolling for Cruise re­mains one of his very best, as en­ter­pris­ing stu­dent Joel ends up run­ning a makeshift brothel for a night and learn­ing the wis­dom of the phrase, “What the f ... . ”

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