In Universal Pictures’ American Made, Tom Cruise reunites with his Edge of Tomorrow director, Doug Liman (The Bourne Identity, Mr. and Mrs. Smith), 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.
What We Thought:
American Made is a cross between Blow and The Infiltrator. Tom Cruise plays a pilot who ends up doing jobs for the CIA and for Pablo Escobar. While flying over different areas of South America and Central America, Cruise’s character would take pictures of areas or deliver guns to rebels that the US wanted to win. On his return trips, he’d smuggle cocaine into the US for Escobar and the Colombian cartel.
This allegedly happened in the late 1970s up until the mid 1980s. Now I say allegedly because who knows if any of it is actually true. If an everyday guy was hired by the CIA there would be no record of it whatsoever. Cruise’s character admits he didn’t ask enough questions and took Domhnall Gleeson’s character’s word for it. Enough time has passed that top-secret information can be released, but again, who really knows?
True or not, it’s still interesting enough. It reminded me a lot of Johnny Depp’s Blow, another “true” story of a guy starting small who ends up moving mountains of cocaine. Cruise is easy to watch (like he always is) and seems to have a lot of fun playing Barry Seal. Seeing Cruise as a pilot I wanted a Top Gun reference, but didn’t get one, but besides that, Cruise is charismatic and fun.
One of the biggest issues I had with the film is the look of it. Part of it needed to be documentary style, but there are scenes shot that way that I didn’t like. Cruise is shooting some video of himself and that should be documentary style, but the rest of the story didn’t need to be that way. I hate shaky cam and it felt so unnecessary in this.
Another issue is that because it reminded me of other films, it felt like so many films we’ve seen before. The story may be new, but the movie feels unoriginal. It’s a perfectly fine film, but I don’t see myself watching it again. I know the story now and because there’s nothing all that new to film, I have no reason to watch it a second time.
If American Made does well it’s because of Tom Cruise. He is still a solid draw at the box office and these types of films tend to be popular. Fans of Cruise will like him and the story is interesting enough just don’t expect to be wowed or blown away.
Cast & Crew:
- Doug Liman
- Tom Cruise
- Domhnall Gleeson
- Sarah Wright Olsen
- E. Roger Mitchell
- Jesse Plemons
- Benito Martinez
- Caleb Landry Jones
- Jayma Mays
Recommended If You Like:
- The Infiltrator
- Tom Cruise