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Very few directors have tapped the clown in Tom Cruise the way Doug
Liman has. He had directed Tom in Edge of Tomorrow which was humorous
and was set amidst a post-apocalyptic alien invasion. American Made is
just as humorous and is also set amidst an invasion of sorts except
this movie is a true story. Captain Barry Seal had the adventure of a
lifetime before falling prey to a monster of his own doing. But what an
adventure it might have been for this man to smuggle contraband into
and out of the States.
I felt Tom Cruise did a great job portraying the pilot in an extremely light-hearted and funny way. Cruise is known for playing roles that ooze oodles of dare-devilry. But most of those roles are of fictitious characters. For once Tom plays a real man whose daring knew no bounds. Captain Barry Seal was like a real-life Ethan Hunt. Hence I feel casting Cruise as Seal was an extremely appropriate decision and should help in filling Universal Studios Entertainment's coffers.
If you were awed after seeing the aerial sequences in Dunkirk, wait until you have seen this film. The planes are subjected to go through some intense acrobatics which will please you. If you were disappointed with Cruise after watching The Mummy, I can assure you that you will heave a sigh of relief after watching this film. The film's story is not only engaging but also witty and hilarious. There are hardly any stagnant moments so the probability of you getting bored is very low.
A very ironic thing about American Made is that in 1986 when Barry Seal must have gone through whatever turmoil he did, a young Tom Cruise played a pilot in Top Gun which released that year. Did he know he would pay a real-life pilot who was very relevant during those days almost 31 years later ?
Watch American Made . Don't watch it for Tom Cruise's stardom. Watch it because you deserve to watch an entertaining and great film on the big screen that coincidentally has a superstar playing the leading man. I humbly apologize for the length of this post but sometimes I just can't control myself from pouring my thoughts out
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
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 !!!
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.)
Lured by adventure and bucket loads of cash, a gutsy TWA pilot takes on
flight operations for both the CIA and a Columbian drug cartel.
In this pacey action film, Tom Cruise pulls off the ultimate feat of an A List actor- he disappears in the role of Barry Seale, ace pilot, lover of risk, dedicated husband and father, and player of games with some pretty shady people. It's a fun role, but deadly serious, and Cruise gets the tone just right.
The director Doug Liman weaves his magic to recreate the effect of being there- in the naive eighties, in the middle of all the fun of flying and unexpected opportunity, with the cautionary tale of Barry Seal a window into the world of corruption we only only saw glimpses of at the time. My only complaint was that third act dragged a little, but it's a real life story, so what can you do.
Full credit to the excellent Domnhall Gleeson as the CIA spy who lures Barry into the web, he's one to watch in the future.
And kudos to Cruise who apparently did his own stunts. So go see it! Take some popcorn & put some bums on seats!
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 Street did.
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
At first i thought this movie will be boring as hell because of
biography and crime genre, many movie with similar genre failed to
bring the movie to success. I think it will be hard to make this kind
of movie but Doug Liman as the director and Tom Cruise as the main
character (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 Tom Cruise acting really makes it real ! And because this movie based on true story, and has reveal one of many dark secret on USA government, it makes this movie more interesting ! I cant believe this movie can be one of my favourite and be the one of top on my list. So recommended for the audience who love crime story with comedy, just try it !
Always reliable if not exactly visionary, director Doug Liman has
another entertaining outing with Tom Cruise, reinventing his charm,
swagger and grin as tools for finding easy cash and marital respect
when honest work doesn't exactly get one far enough.
Cruise plays a totally reprehensible and despicable character and yet manages to keep everyone invested in the ride that accelerates with every misstep on the way, fully captivating the audience to wait for the extent of the looming train wreck. Cruise is entirely game here, not once trying to make audience feel sorry for his character or thinking that maybe he had a heart of gold, after all.
Worth pointing out is also a stellar turn from a less prolific Domhnall Gleeson whose ambitious CIA operator is equally blind, naive and brilliant, and Gleeson makes his oily presence wonderfully effective.
A great story perfectly representing those years and with a stunning performance by Tom Cruise. I would say one of the best movie ever, in this genre, which is midway between a CIA based film and a biopic one. Barry's narration, delivered direct to camera, takes the form of a series of clips from a fuzzy home video supposedly shot in the mid-1980s, laying out the historical background in a dense fashion (he pretends at one point to confuse two countries) which seems most directly indebted to Adam McKay's The Big Short. The biggest coup is the casting of Cruise, who functions as a pure icon, recycling all his usual mannerisms the grin, the hand gestures and even revisiting his past as a pilot in Top Gun. The catch is that his depthless showboating for once seems intended as anything but likable.
I was lucky to get an advanced screening. First off, at least it kept
my attention the whole way through. I had previously seen Cruise in the
"Mummy" movie recently released and was not impressed with his acting
In this movie he returned to form and therefore the story-line was far more plausible. I say story-line, but in reality it is one of those docu-drama's, being based on fact. I wonder how much was dramatization as there were some parts where you would ask "did this sh*t really happen?!"
Would I be inclined to add it to my DVD collection, no. It was good as a one time showing. I suspect the length of it worked somewhat against it. A long movie needs to build up to a crescendo, and whilst this had lots of action it never seemed to hit that top note.
Doug Liman and Tom Cruise paired up together again for a fast-paced and
colorful biography on Barry Seal. American Made may not have the
blockbuster action but it holds up on its own firmly with the help of a
great direction by Doug. Tom Cruise is definitely the main highlight of
the film and he is what made it so entertaining.
The story: The pace is brisk; it takes the audience on a crazy ride from the start and never slows down. Though it never felt boring, sometimes I felt that it could have slowed down for some development. After the film ended, it seems that Doug and Tom had a clear mind on just keeping the audience as entertained as they can be. It cuts to the chase and never dwells on anything such as emotions. It moves quickly from event to event. Advantage is that I was not bored at all. Disadvantage is that it felt like a 2 hours montage on Barry Seal's life. There is no real tension or character's development. The realism is helped by the smart decision of filming like a documentary. Be warned: Action genre fans may be disappointed that is no big action. It is strangely classified as action.
Acting wise: Tom Cruise looks like he had lots of fun filming. It is just entertaining watching him immersed himself in the crazy and fast-paced world of Barry Seal. The rest of the cast are decent but not impressive.
Music wise: Christophe Beck created a decent mood of the different years. Since Doug wanted the film to feel realistic, it is not jam-packed with music. There are many moments where sounds and ambiance take the front seat.
Overall: It is not impressive but it is a solid entry to Doug Liman's and Tom Cruise's filmography. I went in with low expectation and had no idea about the outrageous stuff Barry Seal did. And not only was I entertained, I was immersed into the world of Barry.
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