AMER­I­CAN MADE (R13, 115 MINS), DI­RECTED BY DOUG LI­MAN,

The Napier Mail - - CONVERSATIONS -

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 Medellin car­tel to carry co­caine back into the US on his re­turn jour­neys. That much is more-or­less undis­puted.

Writer Gary Spinelli takes the few facts that are known about Seal, adds a hell of a lot of gar­nish, sup­po­si­tion and flat out bull-pucky and turns in a script that strives, and oc­ca­sion­ally suc­ceeds, as some­thing like a Good­fel­las of the air. Direc­tor Doug Li­man ( The Bourne Iden­tity, Edge of To­mor­row) keeps his shots loose and jit­tery, and di­als his pal­lette

Sarah Wright Olsen stars along­side Tom Cruise, in Amer­i­can Made.

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