Action / Biography / Comedy / Crime / Drama / History / Thriller
Action / Biography / Comedy / Crime / Drama / History / Thriller
Barry Seal was just an ordinary pilot who worked for TWA before he was recruited by the CIA in 1978. His work in South America eventually caught the eye of the Medellín Cartel, associated with Pablo Escobar, who needed a man with his skill set. Barry became a drug trafficker, gun smuggler and money launderer. Soon acquiring the title, 'The gringo that always delivers'.
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Cruise Flying High Again.
If you ask anyone to list the top 10 film actors, chance is that "Tom
Cruise" would make many people's lists. He's in everything isn't he?
Well, actually, no. Looking at his IMDb history, he's only averaged
just over a movie per year for several years. I guess he's just
traditionally made a big impact with the films he's done. This all
rather changed in the last year with his offerings of the rather
lacklustre "Jack Reacher: Never Go Back" (FFF) and the pretty dreadful
"The Mummy" (Ff) as one of this summer's big blockbuster
disappointments. So Thomas Cruise Mapother IV was sorely in need of a
upward turn and fortunately "American Made" delivers in spades.
"Based on a True Story" this is a biopic on the life of Barry Seal, a
hot shot 'maverick' (pun intended) TWA pilot who gets drawn into a
bizarre but highly lucrative spiral of gun- and drug-running to and
from Central America at the behest of a CIA operative Monty Schafer
(Domhnall Gleeson). All this is completely mystifying to Barry's wife
Lucy (Sarah Wright) who is, at least not initially, allowed to be 'in'
on the covert activities.
The film is a roller-coaster ride of unbelievable action from beginning
to end. In the same manner as you might have thought "that SURELY can't
be true" when watching Spielberg's "Catch Me If You Can", this thought
constantly flits through your mind. At each turn Seal can't believe his
luck, and Cruise brilliantly portrays the wide-eyed astonishment
required. This is a role made for him.
Also delivering his best performance in years is Domhnall Gleeson ("Ex
Machina", "Star Wars: The Force Awakens") as the CIA man with the
(whacky) plan. Large chunks of the film are powered by his manic grin.
As an actress, Sarah Wright is new to me but as well as being just
stunningly photogenic she works with Cruise really well (despite being
20 years his junior - not wanting to be ageist, but this is the second
Cruise film in a row I've pointed that out!)). Wright also gets my
honorary award for the best airplane sex scene this decade!
Written by Gary Spinelli (this being only his second feature) the
script is full of wit and panache and - while almost certainly (judging
from wiki) stretches the truth as far as Seal's cash-storage facilities
- never completely over-eggs the pudding.
Doug Liman ("Jason Bourne", "Edge of Tomorrow") directs brilliantly,
giving space among the action for enough character development to make
you invest in what happens to the players. The 80's setting is lovingly
crafted with a garish colour-palette with well-chosen documentary video
inserts of Carter, Reagan, Oliver Stone, George Bush and others. It
also takes really chutzpah to direct a film that (unless I missed it)
had neither a title nor any credits until the end.
The only vaguely negative view I had about this film is that it quietly
glosses over the huge pain, death and suffering that the smuggled drugs
will be causing to thousands of Americans under the covers. And this
mildly guilty thought lingers with you after the lights come up to
slightly - just slightly - take the edge off the fun. Stylish,
thrilling, moving and enormously funny in places, this is action cinema
at its best. A must see film.
(For the full graphical review of the film please visit http://bob-
the- movie-man.com. Thanks.)
A welcome return to Form for Tom Cruise !!!
I have to Confess i am not a huge fan of Tom Cruise, but when i got a
chance to go to an Advanced Press Screening of his latest movie with my
Brother, who works in the press i reluctantly gave it a shot. I surely
had a pleasant surprise in store, with the movie being a blast from
start to finish and had a ton of retro 80's music. After the disaster
that's THE MUMMY, Tom Cruise returns to form with some of his best work
in the last 10 years outside the Mission Impossible franchise. Its a
story based on the real life events of Barry Seal, a pilot who plays a
crucial role in the Iran-Contra Affair, here we see Tom Cruise return
to familiar territory where he makes us fall in love with a Semi-good
guy who does bad things but we are not quite sure and root for him,
because Tom Cruise makes us fall in love with him with his 1000 Watt
Smile. The supporting cast was serviceable but make no mistake this is
a Tom Cruise vehicle purely designed to show everyone he still has it
Read more IMDb reviews
A seriously fun Cruise lead comedy/thriller
While we all eagerly await the release of the recently announced Top
Gun sequel, Tom Cruise's latest slice of polished Hollywood
entertainment American Made, allows us all to see what it's like when
Maverick becomes a little naughty in his retirement from flying fighter
jets, verbally sparring with Iceman and making out with Kelly McGillis.
Re-teaming with his Edge of Tomorrow director Doug Liman, American Made
is a relentlessly energized and seriously fun examination of the true
life story of American Airlines pilot Barry Seal, who gave up his life
as an everyday pilot to not only become a CIA recruited pilot
delivering messages, guns and various other treats to South American
contacts, but a drug runner for the Pablo Escobar Columbian drug trade,
which makes for a wild ride that would be utterly unbelievable were it
not in fact based on truth.
Fair warning to all, Liman and his leading man are totally uninterested
in giving a dry history lesson of Seal's exploits, as American Made
sees the two Hollywood heavy hitters instead turn their trajectory
towards delivering a heightened and often over the top examination of
these events and with Liman bringing his Bourne Identity and Edge of
Tomorrow expertise with him to the event and with Cruise seemingly
having the most fun his had in years, the risk to go for something
different other than an awards baiting or dialogue heavy expose has
paid off hugely, with American Made easily becoming one of the year's
most purely fun and enjoyable rides.
At almost 60 years of age you'd be rightfully thinking it's about time
that Cruise take a seat back and enjoy a more quiet time in his career
but the unstoppable and enthusiastic leading man is having a blast here
bringing Seal to life.
In almost every scene of the film, Cruise and Liman continue on with
their rapport that they built in Edge of Tomorrow and Liman should be
commended for bringing out Cruise's natural talents for comedy and when
mixed with his easy going charisma that has made him such a beloved
acting figure, Seal offers Cruise one of his best and most interesting
roles in his long and varied career, no small feat when you consider
the quality of his often underestimated C.V.
American Made's frenetic and sometimes scattered focus may detract from
some viewers experiences and those looking for a more sombre take on a
no doubt very serious topic may be disappointed but Liman and his
cast's (that includes great bit turns from the likes of Sarah Wright as
Seal's wife Lucy and Caleb Landry Jones as Lucy's dim-witted brother
Bubba) ability to extract the absurdness and craziness of this whole
situation and turn it into such a fun piece of entertainment should be
a winner in the majority of cases, much like Scorsese's Wolf of Wall
With Cruise on top form and Liman instilling his film with a
breathtaking amount of energy, American Made is a pure piece of
cinematic entertainment and an awesomely fun companion piece to
Cruise's other well-known plane centred star vehicle.
4 future presidents out of 5