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FILM REVIEW: Summer now on Cruise control . . .

Tom Cruise as Barry Seal in American Made. Photo: PA Photo/Universal Pictures/David James
Tom Cruise as Barry Seal in American Made. Photo: PA Photo/Universal Pictures/David James

It’s another mission applaudable for The Cruiser!

It wouldn’t be summer without Tom Cruise appearing on our screens as a clean-cut saviour of the world.

But just as it was growing tiresome watching the actor play pretty much the same character amongst different backdrops – he has given us something different.

American Made tells the outrageous real-life story of Barry Seal (Cruise), a commercial pilot recruited by a CIA agent (Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ Domhnall Gleeson) to provide observations on the increasing communist threat in Central America.

He soon finds himself in charge of one of the biggest covert CIA operations in the history of the United States that spawned the birth of the Medellin cartel – and eventually almost brought down the Reagan White House with the Iran Contra scandal.

Steering us through these wild chain of events are director Doug Liman (once again collaborating with Cruise after Live Die Repeat: Edge of Tomorrow) and writer Gary Spinelli – who together use the now-familiar storytelling mode of breaking the fourth wall (as seen in similar films such as Goodfellas and The Wolf of Wall Street).

What is perhaps the best and worst thing about American Made is the way it has been edited to appear as though it was filmed in the Eighties.

Even though the smaller frame and grainy picture is arguably gimmicky and somewhat distracting – it was still a mostly refreshingly pleasant and nostalgic experience that hit more than it missed.

But more importantly this fascinating biopic sees Cruise in his finest screen performance since 2004’s Collateral – as he provides the gritty role we’ve been waiting from him in arguably more than a decade – and proves that when it comes to Hollywood he’s definitely made in America.

Rating: 4/5 Mikey Clarke


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