‘I was working for the CIA, the DEA and Pablo Escobar.’
It sounds something like an insult to say ‘this was a lot better than I expected’ and then follow it up with a batch of exclamation marks but, in this case especially, it’s the truth. Having gone in with minimal, lower than low expectations, I found myself rather enjoying American Made. If fact I found myself being both entertained and engaged (gasp! shock! horror!)
It’s not going to make any top-of-the-year film lists, but really there’s a time and a place for this kind of movie. It’s lightweight, with an ever so slight edge, packed with its far share of comedy moments and twists along the way. The reason it works so well is the fact Cruise provides us with his charismatic best, as opposed to his performance in the car crash that was The Mummy (click here for that review). This is Cruise at his smarmy-charmy best – think Top Gun, Jerry Maguire or (my personal favourite) Tropic Thunder. He throws himself into the role of Barry Seal, a pilot recruited by a CIA agent (played by the ever-effervescent Domhnall Gleeson who is armed with a pitch-perfect American accent) to provide reconnaissance on the ever-expanding ‘war on drugs’.
This is the kind of the film last year’s end-of-summer movie with a simillar kind of plot, aka War Dogs, wanted to be (click here for my review) and the kind of film Matthew Mcconaughey wished Gold had been (click here for my review). This movie is definitely the superior of the three courtesy of the Cruise effect, a tighter plot and a well-chosen frame device to keep things tightly-told. The end result is a pacy action-comedy movie that makes for a solid piece of entertainment. A comfortable three star movie to while away two hours.