What happens when you mix CIA work with being Pablo Escobar’s go to drug smuggler? American Made has the answer!
If you’re already counting down to the release of Top Gun 2 in 2019, then American Made will most definitely give you a much-needed Tom Cruise fix.
Based on the extraordinary true story of pilot-turned-CIA intelligence provider-turned-drugs smuggler-turned-gun runner Barry Seal (Cruise), American Made tells of one man’s incredible journey from humble beginnings to becoming a White House informant after a stint working for the Medellin Cartel. Oh, and throw in money launderer too!
Known as the man who can always deliver, Seal switches his life as a commercial pilot for TWA to help the CIA on a reconnaissance mission, after Monty Schafer (Domhnall Gleeson) recognises he could be just the man for the job upon finding out about Seal’s cigar smuggling sideline.
While his new line of work, which he keeps from his glamorous wife Lucy (Sarah Wright) and young family, is dangerous, Barry comes to life dodging bullets while flying over communist regimes gathering secret pictures.
After being sent on a photo-taking mission to Colombia, Seal’s covert career takes another unexpected turn when Pablo Escobar requests his help.
Before Escobar flooded the American market with cocaine, the drugs kingpin was finding it almost impossible to get his produce into the U.S., but with Seal’s unprecedented freedom to come and go undetected, he just may have found his way in.
Unfortunately, the coke run isn’t as smooth as the CIA operation and Seal finds himself in a South American prison, missing a tooth and in pretty bad shape.
When Schafer comes to his aid, Seal thinks his dodgy dealings may have come to an end, but the pilot couldn’t be further from the truth – things are only just beginning, and before Barry knows it, he is playing a key role in the Iran–Contra political scandal of the ‘80s that rocked Ronald Reagan's administration.
Bourne helmer Doug Liman and real-life action man Cruise make for a perfect pairing with American Made, and the movie is a really fun watch.
As you can imagine with a film about the deadly Medellín Cartel, not everything is sweetness and light, but Gary Spinelli’s script is both funny and engaging, as well as interesting.
Cruise’s Seal may not be completely trustworthy as a narrator, but the real pilot was known to exaggerate his tales, so this retelling works well for cinemagoers looking for an entertaining ride, and not a serious biopic.
The use of ‘80s style camera filters, graphics, and footage of Reagan adds to the vibe too, and while a lot of the supporting cast is sidelined, fans of the Mission: Impossible superstar will lap up the Cruise show.
No, Tom Cruise doesn’t really look like Barry Seal, and yes, it’s correct that the movie doesn’t overly worry itself with Seal’s life away from work, unless it’s showing the overwhelming amount of money he has, but this is Cruise at his best, and an excellent film to finish the summer with.
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