Tom Cruise Pilots A Wild And Crazy True Story In American Made

Tom Cruise is back in the cockpit, Top Gun-style aviators firmly in place, once again flying daring missions as a talented (if more than a little crooked) pilot in Edge of Tomorrow director Doug Liman’s “based on a true story” action comedy, American Made.

Goose may be long gone and there’s no drunken Righteous Brothers sing-along, however—three decades later—Cruise’s blonde love interest (Sarah Wright) has stayed the same age.

American Made sees Cruise playing Barry Seal, a bored but highly skilled TWA pilot who prefers to leap first and consider looking on the way down. When the CIA shows up in search of a few not-so-good men, Seal jumps at the chance to ditch the daily grind for a gig taking fly-by photos of “commies” trying to “subvert democracy” in Central America. Soon Seal is running guns for the CIA, nudie magazines for the Contras “freedom fighters,” and kilos of cocaine for Pablo Escobar’s Medellín Cartel. And he might have gotten away with it too, if it wasn’t for his bumbling brother in law, played by Caleb Landry Jones.

American Made takes a lot of liberties with Seal’s story but the plot’s craziest parts—about his drug smuggling, his work as an undercover DEA informant, and his connections with Escobar—are all true. For the most part, the made up stuff is there to make you laugh. Think: Cruise, covered in cocaine, emerging from his totalled airplane on the suburban cul-de-sac where he’s crash-landed to evade capture by the DEA. His getaway car? A child’s BMX bicycle.

The film is well-paced, funny, and at just under two hours long doesn’t overstay it’s welcome, but Limon’s best move by far was casting Domhnall Gleeson to play Seal’s sociopathic CIA handler, who counsels him on the legalities of the black ops operation.

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Everything they’re doing, he tells Seal, is totally legal… “Just don’t get caught.” As “Schafer” (definitely not his real name), Gleeson is so slippery, so vague, and so hazy that he almost seems like a figment of Seal’s imagination—until you see him back at headquarters, using Seal’s work to ruthlessly climb the CIA ladder.

American Made also stars Fargo’s Jesse Plemons and Glee’s Jayma Mays. The movie taxis into theatres this Friday, September 29. Check out the trailer below—some of this shit really happened.