When I first saw the movie thirty-some years ago, I didn't pick up on just how cocky and pigheaded Cruise's character was.
Imagine a James Bond flick where the super-villain, during the big finale, turns out to be humanity's savior, which suddenly turns Bond into a liability whose extermination is required in order to achieve world peace.
A nihilistic, pointless, and ultimately forgettable oddity. I would easily categorize this as an anti-audience Western.
Always a worthwhile watch, it's a subdued, cleverly plotted Thriller...which was, oddly enough, a summer movie release.
The filmmakers sell the movie with a gun-driven plot, multiple guns on the poster, then embark on pushing a cartoonish stereotype of 'gun nuts', or anyone who believes in defending themselves against violent crime.
I honestly believe this is one of those '80s movies that could not get made today, particularly at HBO.
"Those people standing in line are just the ones who'd already seen the movie and wanted their money back."