Sunday, 17 December 2017

American Made film review

I went to see this movie with my friends Aj and Karen at the Leeds/Bradford Odeon.

IMDB says: The story of Barry Seal, an American pilot who became a drug-runner for the CIA in the 1980s in a clandestine operation that would be exposed as the Iran-Contra Affair.


In this Doug Liman (Edge of Tomorrow, Fair Game) directed and Gary Spinelli (Stash House, American Made) written film, Tom Cruise (A Few Good Men, Mission Impossible) stars as Barry Seal and ordinary pilot for TWA who smuggles Cuban cigars and is recruited by the CIA. 

Monty Schafer (Domhnall Gleeson: About Time, Ex Machina), his CIA handler asks him to photograph facilities over Central America, then be courier to General Noriega (Alberto Ospino in his first film), carry weapons to the Contras in Nicaragua and more.  Soon his work attracts the attention of the Medellin Cartel, Jorge Ochoa (Alejandro Edda: The Bridge, TVs Fear the Walking Dead), Carlos Lehder (Fredy Yate Escobar in his first movie) and Pablo Escobar (Mauricio Mejia: El Chapo, La Viuda Negra), and he begins to work for both them and the CIA. 

Barry gets very rich as a drug trafficker, gun smuggler and money launderer, and becomes 'the gringo that always delivers,' using the small town of Mena, Arkansas to launder the profits.  But the DEA an the FBI are tracking him down.  What will happen to his family if he gets arrested?

Tom Cruise and Doug Liman in American Made (2017)

Sarah Wright (The House Bunny, Walk of Shame) plays Barry' wife Lucy, Caleb Landry Jones (Get Out, Contraband) as her hapless brother Bubba and Jayma Mays (The Smurfs, TVs Glee) Dana Sibota, who wishes to put Barry away for his crimes.

The movie is based on the life of a real person but whether we get the truth is debateable.  It doesn't seem to matter a the film is pure entertainment.


Tom Cruise is great in this film, exuding all the cockiness and humour that the role demands.  When Barry Seal is doing well we live the journey with him in every way and when things take a turn for the worse, we root for him despite knowing how history played out.

I loved the 80s setting, the plane sequences and the superb acting, you almost forget that Seal was profiting off a life-ruining product.

Tom Cruise plays a pilot in Top Gun in 1986 and in this film he plays a real-life pilot in the same era which is a strange irony, as is the character of Seal who is a man of questionable decisions, putting his family and his life in jeopardy for profit, yet we as an audience, like him any way.

Trivia:  In one of the trailers Tom Cruise is ordered to land his plane. He is also ordered to land his plane in the opening scene of Top Gun (1986).

Crew members experienced a tragic event on the last day of filming. On September 11, 2015, stunt pilot Alan D. Purwin and his Venezuelan co-pilot, Carlos Berl, were killed when their small, twin-engine Aerostar plane crashed during foggy conditions in the Andes, near Medellin, Colombia. The pilots had just finished their work on the film prior to the crash, which left a sole survivor, Jimmy Lee Garland, who suffered serious injury. Ten minutes before the fatal crash, Tom Cruise had been aboard a helicopter taking the same route in similar weather conditions as the ill-fated flight.

The film's script was featured on the 2014 Black List of the most liked unproduced film scripts.

Domhnall Gleeson in American Made (2017)

Tagline:  Based on a True Lie.                                                                           8/10

Tom Cruise in American Made (2017)

#AmericanMade #DougLiman #Odeon #TomCruise #SarahWright #DomnhallGleeson #JaymaMays

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