American Made: Based on a True Lie (M18)
Starring Tom Cruise, Domhnall Gleeson
Directed by Doug Liman
Tom Cruise reunites with his Edge of Tomorrow director Doug Liman for this breezy, ebullient, lightly-fictionalised, Goodfellas-esque biopic of Barry Seal, an airline pilot-turned-smuggler running errands for the CIA and Colombian drug cartels in the 1980s.
It’s just what The Cruiser needs to win back the brownie points he lost for the misfire that was The Mummy. Cruise’s Seal isn’t another variation of his Mission: Impossible persona Ethan Hunt.
No, siree! Far from it, he’s in anti-hero mode, playing a morally malleable entrepreneur, equal-opportunity exploiter, adrenaline junkie and — because he’s portrayed by Tom Cruise (who can resist his megawatt grin?) — hard-to-hate scoundrel.
Think of Seal as Maverick, Cruise’s alter-ego in Top Gun, older, not necessarily wiser, and working for Pablo Escobar. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised that a few months down the road, some nerdy wiseass on YouTube will re-edit the flying sequences in American Made with Kenny Loggins’ ‘Danger Zone’ as its soundtrack. Wait and see (***)