It gives Liman a chance to stage a few tense aerial sequences ... it gives Cruise the opportunity to re-establish his brand of aggressive good humor and carefree - make that careless - adventure. They know what they're doing.
Doug Liman's electric film is clear-eyed about the cynicism and corruption beneath its hero's anxious grin. It voraciously breaks down both the star and the country he has symbolized for so much of his career.
The draw, however, remains Cruise, figuratively walking out on a wing; whether multiplexers rejoin him there will be seen, but after endless formula runouts, it's encouraging to see him being properly exercised again.