Cruise is far too interested in doing stunts and being a superstar than getting down and focusing on his acting
American Made follows Barry Seal (Tom Cruise), a pilot who essentially loses all sense of abandon, with the film becoming a pulsating journey through his life, showing the extremities his day to day living transformed into. Known for being the youngest pilot at the airline, with huge flair and instinct, he is headhunted by the CIA to track the drug cartels of Central America from the air. It’s only when he gets involved in ‘ground work’ does he start to smuggle cocaine into the US, working for the CIA and Pablo Escobar at the same time.
American Made is a very good film let down by a very average performance from Tom Cruise. As an actor, especially in his recent performances, Cruise comes across as very underdone. He is far too interested in doing stunts and being a superstar than getting down and focusing on his acting.
The film is brilliantly paced, unraveling this intricately barbaric story while being thoroughly entertaining. It’s not just chases and shooting, there’s far more tension and thrills running through the film’s veins than an average action flick. Director Doug Liman has done a great job of building a strong story around Barry Seal, not letting Cruise’s weaknesses inhibit the rest of the picture. Liman is helped by an array of great supporting performances including both Domnhall Gleeson and Sarah Wright, really showing up Cruise as a waning leading man.
It’s wonderfully stylised and directed with real pace and conviction. However poor Tom Cruise manages to be, American Made is still a great film and a thoroughly thrilling watch. Cruise will always be Cruise, but let’s just hope he stops making films soon.