“American Made” unfolds as a semi-biographical portrayal of Barry Seal’s life, a TWA pilot turned CIA informant with a side hustle in drug smuggling. Director Doug Liman, collaborating again with Tom Cruise after “The Edge of Tomorrow,” delivers a captivating narrative that marks a rebound for Cruise following the disappointment of “The Mummy.”
Liman-Cruise Chemistry: A Recipe for Success
Capitalizing on Cruise’s enduring charm at 55, Liman crafts an entertaining movie that transcends strict adherence to historical accuracy. The movie strategically blends commercial appeal with top-notch production values, creating a visually immersive 80s setting, and features Cruise seamlessly navigating the roller-coaster of emotions demanded by Seal’s complex character.
Commercial Appeal Over Historical Accuracy
Liman openly acknowledges deviating from a docu-drama format, embracing the liberties taken with Seal’s life events. Historical accuracy remains questionable, such as the physical contrast between the real Seal and Cruise’s portrayal, differences in marital history, and timeline variations. Embracing the tagline “Based on a TRUE LIE,” the film stands as a commercial vehicle delivering a 115-minute joyride.
Compact Narrative with Breezy Performances
Condensing someone’s life into a concise movie is no easy feat, yet “American Made” navigates smoothly, presenting a condensed yet engaging narrative. Cruise, in his element, effortlessly oscillates between elation and discomfort, delivering a performance that anchors the film. Liman, along with Cruise and writer Gary Spinelli, injects humor at every turn, prompting delightful exclamations from the audience.
Barry Seal’s Comedic Exploits: Larger-Than-Life Moments
Seal’s character becomes a source of laughter as he humorously interacts with those around him. From unsettling plane rides to crash-landing with cocaine to partying with the Medellin Cartel while working for the CIA, Seal’s larger-than-life yet comical escapades infuse the movie with a delightful energy.
Balancing Humor in Unlikely Scenarios
“American Made” bravely deviates from the somber tone often associated with movies dealing with national agencies and South American drug cartels. The film subverts expectations, maintaining a lighthearted tone even during moments of life-and-death significance. Seal’s relationship with his wife, portrayed by Sarah Wright, maintains a resilient spirit amid uncertainties.
Stretched Climax and Bold Storytelling
While the movie excels in humor, it occasionally feels stretched, especially in the climactic portions. The narrative introduces anticipated dangers and twists, building towards a closure that unfolds in a slightly prolonged manner. Domhnall Gleeson’s portrayal of Seal’s CIA contact adds another layer of enjoyment.
Cruise’s Flying Feat and Future Prospects
Cruise’s commitment shines through as he takes on flying scenes, showcasing spectacular aerial sequences. “American Made” prompts reflection on Cruise’s potential in smaller-budget films, allowing him to showcase his prowess beyond blockbuster franchises.
Verdict: Cruise’s Charismatic Comeback
“American Made” is Cruise’s charismatic comeback, a captivating blend of humor, historical liberties, and a roller-coaster narrative. While the climax feels stretched, Cruise’s performance and the film’s overall entertainment value make it a noteworthy addition to his filmography.
Verdict: Refreshingly breezy action-comedy!
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