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By Megan Bianco
Doug Liman’s period satire American Made is the most Tom Cruise-ish movie the actor has ever made. The movie star is in a uniform, he’s in an airplane (or a dozen planes), he’s in a fancy looking car, he’s got a hot blonde wife. And with Liman, he has one of his most frequent collaborators of the past decade. After the modest success of the sci-fi adventure The Edge of Tomorrow (2014), Cruise and Liman are back in theaters for an amusing recounting of an unbelievable real story.
In Baton Rouge in 1978, bored pilot Barry Seal (Cruise) is offered a secret job by CIA agent Monty Schafer (Domhnall Gleeson) to smuggle cocaine through southern states and Latin America. Soon, Barry becomes so good and in-demand at the job, he quickly gains a small team of pilots and eventually smuggles guns to the country in exchange for other goods. But he still hasn’t quite told his wife and mother of his children, Lucy (Sarah Wright), what exactly his new job is, and he becomes a little too chummy with the Latino drug lords.
American Made is a fun, entertaining popcorn flick for a lazy weekend viewing. It’s a pretty standard studio film with Cruise, Gleeson and Wright delivering attractive performances for eye candy, a catchy soundtrack and comic relief. The film does take quite a lot of liberties changing some historical instances for the sake of the plot or narrative, though, and viewers should be reminded this is a Hollywood movie and not a documentary.