This is a very straight remake of Alejandro Amenábar's Spanish-language Abre los Ochos (Open Your Eyes). Admittedly, that film stands a second viewing - a provocative post-modern fairytale which kept pulling the rug out from under - but Hollywood inflation does the story no favours. Easy to imagine what attracted Cruise to the role of David, the mega-rich, handsome playboy disfigured by spurned harpy Julie (Diaz, miscast), just as he finds true love in the form of Sofia (Cruz, reprising her soulful muse bit from the original). David finds it hard to readjust, and not just because he's lost his toothy smile. He goes to bed with Sofia and wakes up with Julie - reality ain't what it used to be. Whether this is an example of rampant egoism or a dissection of same, the face mask sure fits. But writer/director Crowe is a bland film-maker who shows no affinity for schlock and never threatens to make us care. There are no surprises here, and worse, no suspense. Spinning out the earnest and unenlightening psychiatric sessions, Crowe misses the delirium of Amenábar's climax. If Open Your Eyes could be filed under 'fantasy horror', Vanilla Sky comes closer to 'pretentious psychodrama'.
Cast and crew