American Made ★★★

[6]

A perfectly watchable lark, the sort of breezy work that Doug Liman specializes in. Tom Cruise is in full preen here, strutting around like the cock of the walk one moment, hoping that Medellín cartel honchos don't blow him away the next.

But for a film so ostensibly "about something" (CIA interference in Latin America, and its dirty deals that eventually led to Iran-Contra), American Made seems a bit too shallow and pleased with itself. Cruise and Liman are flying as recklessly as Barry Seal himself, coming in low and smirking with the knowledge that they are peddling second-rate Scorsese. The idea seems to be, keep it moving and no one will notice the echoes of Goodfellas and Casino, or we'll be so superficially entertained that we won't much care.