If you’re eager to see Tom Cruise back piloting jets in the apparently happening Top Gun 2, you don’t actually have to wait for that sequel to see him in action in the air again. The actor is behind the wheel of a small jet plane in the first trailer for American Made. This time he’s not fighting MiGs, though, he’s performing a different sort of duty for the US of A.
When it comes out: September 29
Who is in it: Tom Cruise, Domhnall Gleeson, Sarah Wright, Jesse Plemons, Jayma Mays, Lola Kirke, Connor Trinneer
What it’s about: Cruise plays real-life drug and arms smuggler Barry Seal, who also helped launder money for Pablo Escobar and the Medellin Cartel and who was later assassinated for his cooperation with the DEA. The movie is loose with the true story, with some characters made up or renamed.
Wright plays his third wife, but she’s called Lucy instead of Debbie, for instance. None of his supposed ties to the CIA as depicted are confirmed either. One other character in the movie that is definitely based on a real person is George W. Bush, played by Trinneer. Seal has been portrayed before, by the way, in the movies Doublecrossed and The Infiltrator and the Netflix series Narcos.
How the new trailer is: This is definitely not a serious look at the ’80s drug trade or Iran-Contra scandal or Seal’s ultimately tragic life, and it’s not surprising that his eldest daughter is reportedly unahappy with the portrayal of her father. This looks like an amusing crime movie with a hip and somewhat irreverant tone, not unlike Blow or The Wolf of Wall Street or the just-released Netflix movie War Machine. Cruise looks likable from the start, as can be expected, in a role that he appears to have had fun playing. Gleeson might be the bigger draw, though, for his CIA agent character.
What other people are saying:
“This looks pretty damn cool, and it’s an intriguing follow-up for Cruise reuniting with Edge of Tomorrow director Doug Liman again…This looks like a fun can’t-believe-it’s-real story, and Cruise seems to be enjoying himself as well.” – Alex Billington, FirstShowing.net
“It will also be interesting to see if this movie is part of the awards race or if it’s just a nice bit of fall programming for Universal. There’s not really a serious beat in this trailer, so I’m thinking that it’s probably not being put forward as an Oscar contender. Nevertheless, I’m still excited to check it out.” – Matt Goldberg, Collider
“My only hang-up is that as talented of an actor as Tom Cruise is, I’m not entirely sure the movie is best served with him in the lead role. I can’t help but think of him as Ethan Hunt going undercover for a mission or something like that.” – Ethan Anderton, /Film