Fly The Friendly Skies This Weekend With American Made (Movie Review)

American MadeUp until the critically unaccepted Mummy this year Tom Cruise seemed to be on an unstoppable “cruise” control.  One action film after another his Hollywood success has been as magical as his rugged, vampire good looks.  However, like I always tell my fiancée eventually all good things must come to an end.  I was one of the few who managed to see the good in the Mummy, but everyone is now waiting to see what the man’s next move is.  And that’s why we’re here today ladies and gentlemen.  In what seems like an odd choice for Cruise he is now portraying a a former TWA pilot who became a drug and weapon smuggler in Universal’s American Made.  I must admit though the trailers for this movie made it look like a lot of fun with a fully energized Tom Cruise to boot.  Only you can answer that million dollar question of whether it’s any good by reading on to find out if it’s as entertaining as the trailer made it out to be or just a brilliant editing job in disguise.  Y’all remember Suicide Squad right?

American Made

American Made is billed as a biographical crime movie directed by Doug Liman.  If that name sounds familiar it should.  Doug directed another Cruise adventure in 2014 called Edge of Tomorrow.  The screenplay for this one was written by Gary Spinelli and of course it showcases the ageless vampire Tom Cruise.  In addition the film stars Sarah Wright, Domhnall Gleeson, Jayma Mays, Jesse Plemons and Lola Kirke.  It tells the story of Barry Seal, a TWA pilot who was recruited by the CIA covertly to run reconnaissance on the rising communist threat in Central America and reluctantly became a drug smuggler for the Medellín Cartel in the 1980s.  People will do anything for those greenbacks.  Life becomes pretty grand for him as a result, but remember what I said up above?  All good things eventually come to an end and like all good drug smuggling movies that’s exactly the predicament Seal finds himself in here.  Notice I didn’t say how he really came to work for the Cartel.  You can read about it, but I want there to be some surprises.

American Made

So like I said up above all good things eventually come to an end.  That’s the story of my life and lessons learned in tales like American Made too.  However, Barry Seal has a get out of free card with the United States government.  That’s where this one is unique.  Every time you think there’s no escape for Barry well let’s just say he gets dealt all the right cards and is very much a quick and intuitive learner.  He keeps his friends close, but his enemies closer and has some pretty clever evading techniques I must say.  The guy just simply had it all right down to a beautiful, loving and supportive wife and family.  I get where they were going with the title American Made, but this one could have easily been called the “American Dream” too.

Also unique is the way in which this one was filmed.  It’s quite electrifying in its approach and rough footage, but really American Made is a story within a story complete with interview techniques/recounts and all.  You even get to join the Mile High club here too.  I like that kind of smorgasbord.  The right ingredients just work here.  American Made isn’t exactly here’s a linear progression to watch and bam it’s done.  Oh no!  Right down to the unpredictable way in which this one was shot and slapped together you’re constantly on your toes in suspense, laughing from the many comedic moments and doing something most people did not do in the Mummy.  You find yourself rooting for the bad guy…err I mean good guy in Barry Seals.  How often does that ever happen?  Okay, I’ll admit.  I really didn’t want to see Tony Montana go down in Scarface, but I digress.

American Made

First class editing aside the real star of the show here is Tom Cruise and his larger than life charisma.  Not to say the supporting cast isn’t great too, but Tom is here for a reason.  He may not have been able to resurrect that bad guy he played in the Mummy, but his chops pulled it off here making a seemingly unlikable character into someone we do not want to see go down.  The action and comedy is witty, but the insane story and plight of Tom’s character is what keeps your butts glued to the seats here.  It’s an entertaining biopic and basically a retelling of my childhood told from a fresh point of view rather than from boring history books.  What more can I say about it folks?  American Made never overstays its welcome and its easily one I could have soared with for another half hour or so.  From aerial battles and heart pounding evasions to some crafty landings and daring takeoffs American Made is a flight I plan on taking again in several months on hopefully the 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray format.  All I can do now is upkeep my proclaimed patriotic duty and encourage you all to fly the friendly skies this weekend with American Made.  Do it for your country!

American Made



Owner/Writer/Reviewer/Editor, Dreamer, Producer, Agent of Love, Film Lover, Writer of Screenplays and a Devoted Apostle to all things Ford Mustangs (the real ones with V8's!). Some of my favorite films include FIGHT CLUB, MOULIN ROUGE, THE DARK KNIGHT, STAR WARS alongside television shows such as SEINFELD, 24, SANFORD & SON and even the often loathed in the geek community BIG BANG THEORY. Outside of my three lives I live I also enjoy spending time with my girlfriend and our three girls (of the furry kind).

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