You recall that last June I gave “The Mummy” reboot a scathing review for lacking the sense of adventure and for tainting Tom Cruise’s charms and profession.
Most recently, Cruise stars in “American Made,” an entertaining film from his “Edge of Tomorrow” director Doug Liman, about an American pilot send to South America to do some illegal work for the good guys.
That American pilot is Barry Seal (Cruise), who meets a C.I.A. agent (Dohmnall Gleeson), offering him a new job: smuggle guns for the Contras in South America during the 1970s and 80s. He claims it’s not illegal, as long as he is doing it for the good guys and if he doesn’t get caught. And also, he starts transporting Cocaine for the Medellín Cartel. Both have big bucks in store for Barry, and both are big risks, especially since he has a family, but with all the money rolling in, he’s living (dare I say it) “The American Dream.”
That is until the D.E.A. and F.B.I. clash in on this. Even the cartel plan to make things complicated.
What soothes my enjoyment of “American Made” is all this Contra talk, money, cocaine smuggling, and government issues. I don’t really pay attention to the news, but hearing these things relaxes me.
The movie is also entertaining for immediately redeeming Tom Cruise of his “Mummy” curse. Cruise and director Doug Liman are a dream team, and Gleeson and Sarah Wright (as Barry’s wife) help round out the cast nicely. The retro studio openings spliced with archival footage and Walter Murphy’s “A Fifth of Beethoven” playing lubes us in the charisma. And the movie is also dangerous for its C.I.A. and Contra narrative.
If you see Cruise forcing to land a plane in a Louisiana neighborhood because he ran out of gas and is now running away on a bike while covered in powder, you know you’re in for some fun.