American Made doesn’t pretend to be your typical Tom Cruise mindless action flick filled with explosions and over the top action sequences. Instead, director Doug Liman (Edge of Tomorrow) delivers a timely tale of government deceit and money fueled corruption.
From the start, Tom Cruise appears to be really enjoying himself. Unlike his last movie, The Mummy, where he seemed to be on auto-pilot, Tom proves he’s still quite talented when playing the right character.
Barry Seal (Tom Cruise) is a TWA pilot who has grown tired of the monotony of his job and life. In setting up this premise, Director Liman puts the viewer in a relatable perspective of anyone caught in the slipstream of life. For what transpires next would certainly test ones moral fiber of what is right and what is wrong when making choices in life.
Based on a true story, American Made reminds us how deranged the CIA were in the late 70’s and early 80’s. From the Columbia filed cocaine wars to the Iran-Contra scandal, things were pretty gross. Taking a sour note and turning it in to a dark comedy is what makes this film shine. There were many moments in the film where dire scenes left me laughing in a most uncomfortable way. Tom excelled in portraying the greedy/greasy Barry Seal with his trade mark toothy grin. The last time I enjoyed a performance this much was in Tropical Thunder where Tom played the douchey Les Grossman.
After a suspicious introduction to a CIA agent named Schafer (Domhnall Gleeson), Barry Seal is persuaded by Schafer to fly for the good guys to help stop the spread of Communism. After Barry accepts, Schafer relocates Barry and his family to Mena, Arkansas to operate his own “covert ops” airport. It’s from this moment that we see how twisted Berry’s life will now become.
It’s interesting how American Made conveys how misguided patriotism and a corrupt government can truly affect a persons life. It’s through the actions of Barry Seal we see a flawed yet greedy man who only wanted a better life for himself and his family. Doug Liman and Tom Cruise have truly delivered an enjoyable tale of American greed and ultimately the consequences of that greed.
Rating: 4 stars
In this international escapade based on the outrageous (and real) exploits of Barry Seal, a hustler and pilot unexpectedly recruited by the CIA to run one of the biggest covert operations in U.S. history.
Based on a true story, American Made co-stars Domhnall Gleeson, Sarah Wright Olsen, E. Roger Mitchell, Jesse Plemons, Lola Kirke, Alejandro Edda, Benito Martinez, Caleb Landry Jones and Jayma Mays.
The film is produced by Imagine Entertainment’s Academy Award®-winning producer Brian Grazer (A Beautiful Mind), Cross Creek Pictures’ Brian Oliver (Black Swan) and Tyler Thompson (Everest), Quadrant Pictures’ Doug Davison (The Departed), and Kim Roth (Inside Man). Gary Spinelli wrote the screenplay.
CAST: Tom Cruise, Domhnall Gleeson, Sarah Wright Olsen, E. Roger Mitchell, Jesse Plemons, Lola Kirke, Alejandro Edda, Benito Martinez, Caleb Landry Jones, Jayma Mays
DIRECTED BY: Doug Liman
WRITER: Gary Spinelli