Reviewed bybob-the-movie-manVote: 9/10/10
If you ask anyone to list the top 10 film actors, chance is that "TomCruise" would make many people's lists. He's in everything isn't he? Well, actually, no. Looking at his IMDb history, he's only averagedjust over a movie per year for several years. I guess he's justtraditionally made a big impact with the films he's done. This allrather changed in the last year with his offerings of the ratherlacklustre "Jack Reacher: Never Go Back" (FFF) and the pretty dreadful"The Mummy" (Ff) as one of this summer's big blockbusterdisappointments. So Thomas Cruise Mapother IV was sorely in need of aupward turn and fortunately "American Made" delivers in spades.
"Based on a True Story" this is a biopic on the life of Barry Seal, ahot shot 'maverick' (pun intended) TWA pilot who gets drawn into abizarre but highly lucrative spiral of gun- and drug-running to andfrom Central America at the behest of a CIA operative Monty Schafer(Domhnall Gleeson). All this is completely mystifying to Barry's wifeLucy (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 beginningto end. In the same manner as you might have thought "that SURELY can'tbe true" when watching Spielberg's "Catch Me If You Can", this thoughtconstantly flits through your mind. At each turn Seal can't believe hisluck, and Cruise brilliantly portrays the wide-eyed astonishmentrequired. This is a role made for him.
Also delivering his best performance in years is Domhnall Gleeson ("ExMachina", "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 juststunningly photogenic she works with Cruise really well (despite being20 years his junior - not wanting to be ageist, but this is the secondCruise film in a row I've pointed that out!)). Wright also gets myhonorary award for the best airplane sex scene this decade!
Written by Gary Spinelli (this being only his second feature) thescript is full of wit and panache and - while almost certainly (judgingfrom 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 makeyou invest in what happens to the players. The 80's setting is lovinglycrafted with a garish colour-palette with well-chosen documentary videoinserts of Carter, Reagan, Oliver Stone, George Bush and others. Italso 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 quietlyglosses over the huge pain, death and suffering that the smuggled drugswill be causing to thousands of Americans under the covers. And thismildly guilty thought lingers with you after the lights come up toslightly - just slightly - take the edge off the fun. Stylish,thrilling, moving and enormously funny in places, this is action cinemaat its best. A must see film.
(For the full graphical review of the film please visit http://bob-the- movie-man.com. Thanks.)
Reviewed bySteven ClayVote: 9/10/10
At first i thought this movie will be boring as hell because ofbiography and crime genre, many movie with similar genre failed tobring the movie to success. I think it will be hard to make this kindof movie but Doug Liman as the director and Tom Cruise as the maincharacter (Barry Seal) make this movie to the top of their best !
The story telling is good and makes the audience can follow it easily.Its not too complex, but not plain too. Many humour inside it and TomCruise acting really makes it real ! And because this movie based ontrue story, and has reveal one of many dark secret on USA government,it makes this movie more interesting ! I cant believe this movie can beone of my favourite and be the one of top on my list. So recommendedfor the audience who love crime story with comedy, just try it !
Reviewed byeddie_bagginsVote: 8/10/10
While we all eagerly await the release of the recently announced TopGun sequel, Tom Cruise's latest slice of polished Hollywoodentertainment American Made, allows us all to see what it's like whenMaverick becomes a little naughty in his retirement from flying fighterjets, verbally sparring with Iceman and making out with Kelly McGillis.
Re-teaming with his Edge of Tomorrow director Doug Liman, American Madeis a relentlessly energized and seriously fun examination of the truelife story of American Airlines pilot Barry Seal, who gave up his lifeas an everyday pilot to not only become a CIA recruited pilotdelivering messages, guns and various other treats to South Americancontacts, but a drug runner for the Pablo Escobar Columbian drug trade,which makes for a wild ride that would be utterly unbelievable were itnot in fact based on truth.
Fair warning to all, Liman and his leading man are totally uninterestedin giving a dry history lesson of Seal's exploits, as American Madesees the two Hollywood heavy hitters instead turn their trajectorytowards delivering a heightened and often over the top examination ofthese events and with Liman bringing his Bourne Identity and Edge ofTomorrow expertise with him to the event and with Cruise seeminglyhaving the most fun his had in years, the risk to go for somethingdifferent other than an awards baiting or dialogue heavy expose haspaid off hugely, with American Made easily becoming one of the year'smost purely fun and enjoyable rides.
At almost 60 years of age you'd be rightfully thinking it's about timethat Cruise take a seat back and enjoy a more quiet time in his careerbut the unstoppable and enthusiastic leading man is having a blast herebringing Seal to life.
In almost every scene of the film, Cruise and Liman continue on withtheir rapport that they built in Edge of Tomorrow and Liman should becommended for bringing out Cruise's natural talents for comedy and whenmixed with his easy going charisma that has made him such a belovedacting figure, Seal offers Cruise one of his best and most interestingroles in his long and varied career, no small feat when you considerthe quality of his often underestimated C.V.
American Made's frenetic and sometimes scattered focus may detract fromsome viewers experiences and those looking for a more sombre take on ano doubt very serious topic may be disappointed but Liman and hiscast's (that includes great bit turns from the likes of Sarah Wright asSeal's wife Lucy and Caleb Landry Jones as Lucy's dim-witted brotherBubba) ability to extract the absurdness and craziness of this wholesituation and turn it into such a fun piece of entertainment should bea winner in the majority of cases, much like Scorsese's Wolf of WallStreet did.
With Cruise on top form and Liman instilling his film with abreathtaking amount of energy, American Made is a pure piece ofcinematic entertainment and an awesomely fun companion piece toCruise's other well-known plane centred star vehicle.
4 future presidents out of 5
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'.