AMERICAN MADE (R13, 115 MINS), DIRECTED BY DOUG LIMAN,
After a few months of disappointing films that really should have been likeable, smart, mid-range, vaguely grown-up Friday-night popcorn floggers – Atomic Blonde, Baby Driver – it is truly good to see an unpretentious, smartly written and honestly entertaining film that does exactly what it says on the tin.
And the fact that the tin that contains American Made is also adorned with the grinning mug of Mr Tom Cruise must count as some sort of double pleasure. American Made sees Cruise, for the first time in what feels like years, cast exactly as the character he was born to play; an untrustworthy larrikin who, almost despite ourselves, we just can’t help but like.
It’s the Cruise of Top Gun, Days of Thunder, Mission Impossible, and even, at a stretch, Magnolia. It’s the same character Cruise tried and failed to resurrect for The Mummy and which he partially locates among the limb snapping shenanigans of his Jack Reacher iteration.
Barry Seal was a preternaturally gifted American pilot who was probably recruited by the CIA to run guns into central America. While there, Seal was possibly counter-recruited by the