This was a giant retro nostalgia trip, with the 80s aesthetics mixed with my vague sense of watching this years ago after lending it from the local library. My memories were really fuzzy on the details, I really couldn’t remember anything apart from the counting cards plot point and of course the iconic escalator scene itself with Cruise and Hoffman going down in their brand new suits. That of course gave me a fresh set of eyes on the movie while watching it and it certainly does open up in a completely new way now, viewing it from an adult’s POV. Hoffman is super sympathetic and does one of his best performances in his career and young Cruise ain’t bad either. He shows great skill in his character maturing through the course of the movie, starting out as a bit of a selfish creep using his brother as simply a bargaining chip to cash in on the inheritance he feels was stolen from him, before he starts to truly know and bond with his brother and actually beings to care for him. I would like to pretend that the central message of the movie was clear and open to me even as a kid, but I kinda doubt it. Still, the movie did have this weird special place in my heart and its power appears to not have diminished one bit through the course of the years.