Is it wrong to say that this movie is really nothing special. Not really, considering it’s by one of the most mediocre and overblown filmmakers of the past decades, mr Barry Levinson. I would have no reason to say that about any other filmmaker, only Levinson has disappointed me way too many times, not only because his films seem to always have great concepts ruined by the non exciting ways of his filmmaking style, and his two dimansional cinematic approaches, but also because he appears to have directed so many films that have, for some reason, picked up a reputation for being great and unforgettable. And Rain Man is one of them. Rain Man is regarded as one of the best dramas, if not films, to come out of the cinema from the eighties, and heck, I don’t get why.
Of course, there are a few things that are good about it. As far as I live, I will never be able to say anything bad about Dustin Hoffmann, I will even forgive his turns in many unhappy comedies, at least quality wise, like the truly awful meet the Fockers, know what I mean? So, I was not surprised to see that Hoffmann actually keyes in one of his best performances. Although it’s all too easy to say that he won it for playing a ‘retard’ to put it bluntly, you can either act in that kind of part, or you can’t. Hoffmann can. Also, I like Tom Cruise. Not only does he look stunning, but he is also looks like he was born to play the rebellious rich succesful businessman, the guy you’d love to hate, but just can’t.
The first hour is very touching and entertaining, with its funny light hearted moments and it’s sad moments. But when the film starts to turn sloppy, it fails badly. I think of Tom Cruise’s character exploiting his autistic brother to get money by winning in a casino, and it makes me wanna throw up, cos that’s the kind of crap that Hollywood sells as good scriptwriting, when really, it’s not at all. What the film seems to be saying is that it’s fine for any rich kid to get out of trouble by exploiting an autistic kid’s gifts and make yourself a little cash out of it. Exploitation is what it is, I mean, he keeps the money. And I gotta say, I found obnouxious the change of heart by Tom Cruise’s character, from being obnoxious himself, to being the bestest brother in the whole wide world. You gotta be kidding me. But that’s the ‘no surprises please’ concept that drove the cinema of the Reagan era, and that’s the way it was back than. And even if you argue against that point, you ain’t gonna be able to back up your point of view by taking in consideration a Barry Levinson movie.
WATCH FOR THE MOMENT – When Hoffmann and Cruise have a fight over underwear. Real entertaining exchange.