There are thousands of sunglasses brands around the world, all vying for screen time when a big-budget movie comes out. A bit of product placement goes a long way; all Ray-Ban sunglasses need is a Tom Cruise movie to boost sales, whether it’s 1986 or 2022. Their glasses are iconic, one of the few brands that are identifiable without too much trouble.
Another brand that has a similar impact is Oakley. Oakley is a name that has become synonymous with being trendy, a point attested to in the Weezer song ‘Pork and Beans,’ where they’re credited with ensuring young people don’t think older guys have lost their cool. On the sports field, Oakley sunglasses remain a market leader, with models such as the Radar EV Path, Sutro, and Flak 2.0 XL often seen perched on the noses of high-profile figures. Oakley has made waves in pop culture, cycling, extreme sports, golf, and even the NFL, but what about the movies?
Ray-Ban has definitely been involved in some iconic movie moments, but what of Oakley, the king of cool, the sports star’s go-to shades? Are they as popular in the movies as their sunglasses rivals?
These four movies would suggest so.
Mission Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One (2023)
It’s a Tom Cruise movie, so he wears Ray-Bans, obviously. However, that doesn’t mean a pair of iconic Oakley sunglasses won’t sneak into this action-packed 2023 thrill ride. Indeed, Tom Cruise’s collaboration with Oakley was focused on creating bespoke tinted visors for his most daring stunts in the movie. Meanwhile, Rebecca Ferguson, playing Ilsa Faust, is also seen sporting Oakley products, including a pair of SI Ballistic Halo goggles. In fact, Mission Impossible and Oakley go back a long way; in the second installment of the franchise, Cruise is seen in a pair of Romeo Titanium glasses.
Blade Trinity (2004)
Long before Marvel got a chokehold on the superhero film market and wouldn’t let go, Wesley Snipes’s anti-hero Blade was wowing audiences. Films directed by David S. Goyer don’t exactly have the best track record, and this is included due to production issues. For instance, lead actor Snipes was reported to be difficult to negotiate with and even refused to shoot certain scenes. When he did shoot, he was often seemingly spied in a pair of Oakley sunglasses, but that wasn’t the case – his glasses were actually Ray-Bans that looked like Oakleys. However, his co-star, the terrific Jessica Biel, did wear Oakleys – she is seen in a pair of Half Wire Red Oxides in a couple of scenes.
Mr. and Mrs. Smith (2005)
Mr. and Mrs. Smith was a movie as famous for what happened off screen as what occurred on it: Brad Pitt met Angelina Jolie, creating Brangelina! Grossing $487 million at the box office, this comedic tale revolved around a husband and wife assigned to kill each other and was finished off with a big battle in a home decorating store. That scene features Oakley visors on the antagonists as they seek out Pitt and Jolie, as well as Oakley tactical gloves, for the eagle-eyed.
Tropic Thunder (2008)
War movies can be so deep and troubling – and Oakley sunglasses have often been a part of that. Earlier this year, The Covenant dropped with Jake Gyllenhaal wearing a pair of black Oakley TwoFace OO9189 sunglasses. We could have selected that for our list, but let’s keep it light-hearted instead, with the hilarious Tropic Thunder, starring Tom Cruise, Ben Stiller, Jack Black, and Robert Downey Jr. Its humor might not pass in 2023, but it remains a hallmark of the comedy-action genre. One scene featuring Danny McBride depicts him in a pair of Half Jacket 2.0 Low Bridge Fit glasses as the jungle blows up in front of him.
Clearly, Oakley sunglasses have a remarkable place in popular culture. No matter which form of media you consume, you’ll most likely see this iconic brand being flaunted on your favorite stars’ faces.