Vanilla Sky

Starring: Tom Cruise, Penelope Cruz, Cameron Diaz & Kurt Russell
Paramount Home Entertainment
Certificate: 15
Available now

Publishing tycoon David Aames believes he may have found the missing piece to his incomplete life when he meets the woman of his dreams. But a fateful encounter with a jealous lover sends David's world out of control, rocketing him on a roller-coaster ride of romance, sex, suspicion and dreams to a shocking, final awakening...

Vanilla Sky is an Americanised version of the Spanish movie Abre Los Ojos. And as Hollywood conversions go it is pretty faithful to the original. Forget The Assassin, My Father the Hero and Just Visiting. This time Hollywood has tried to capture the spirit of the original and make it cater for a wider audience.

I originally saw Abre Los Ojos when it first appeared on DVD - well before Vanilla Sky received its theatrical release. I loved the original and have to admit I was a little apprehensive what Hollywood would do once they got their hands on it.

The result is not bad. It is certainly not as good as the original, but it does stay amazingly faithful to it. And there is a scene near the beginning where Tom Cruise is running around an empty Times Square which is more unnerving than in the original movie.

Timothy Spall makes a surprise appearance as Aame's lawyer and Jason Lee plays Aame's best friend Brian Shelby. But possibly the best performance is from Cameron Diaz as Aames's latest fling, a role she is not happy with as she has fallen in love with the publishing tycoon. As she becomes more obsessed it is not too long before we realise that she is a dangerous individual.

There is a cracking soundtrack that accompanies the movie which includes a track which I had long forgotten by R.E.M.

The ending is slightly more disappointing than the original. Without giving too much away it is a lot more obvious what is going on and the character played by Kurt Russell is not as believable here.

Having said that this is a great movie which doesn't disappoint.

Darren Rea