If you ask anyone to list the top 10 film actors, chance is that "TomCruise" would make many people's lists. He's in everything isn't he? Well, actually, no. Looking at his IMDb history, he's only averagedjust over a movie per year for several years. I guess he's justtraditionally made a big impact with the films he's done. This allrather changed in the last year with his offerings of the ratherlacklustre "Jack Reacher: Never Go Back" (FFF) and the pretty dreadful"The Mummy" (Ff) as one of this summer's big blockbusterdisappointments. So Thomas Cruise Mapother IV was sorely in need of aupward turn and fortunately "American Made" delivers in spades.<br><br>"Based on a True Story" this is a biopic on the life of Barry Seal, ahot shot 'maverick' (pun intended) TWA pilot who gets drawn into abizarre but highly lucrative spiral of gun- and drug-running to andfrom Central America at the behest of a CIA operative Monty Schafer(Domhnall Gleeson). All this is completely mystifying to Barry's wifeLucy (Sarah Wright) who is, at least not initially, allowed to be 'in'on the covert activities.<br><br>The film is a roller-coaster ride of unbelievable action from beginningto end. In the same manner as you might have thought "that SURELY can'tbe true" when watching Spielberg's "Catch Me If You Can", this thoughtconstantly flits through your mind. At each turn Seal can't believe hisluck, and Cruise brilliantly portrays the wide-eyed astonishmentrequired. This is a role made for him. <br><br>Also delivering his best performance in years is Domhnall Gleeson ("ExMachina", "Star Wars: The Force Awakens") as the CIA man with the(whacky) plan. Large chunks of the film are powered by his manic grin.<br><br>As an actress, Sarah Wright is new to me but as well as being juststunningly photogenic she works with Cruise really well (despite being20 years his junior - not wanting to be ageist, but this is the secondCruise film in a row I've pointed that out!)). Wright also gets myhonorary award for the best airplane sex scene this decade!<br><br>Written by Gary Spinelli (this being only his second feature) thescript is full of wit and panache and - while almost certainly (judgingfrom wiki) stretches the truth as far as Seal's cash-storage facilities- never completely over-eggs the pudding. <br><br>Doug Liman ("Jason Bourne", "Edge of Tomorrow") directs brilliantly,giving space among the action for enough character development to makeyou invest in what happens to the players. The 80's setting is lovinglycrafted with a garish colour-palette with well-chosen documentary videoinserts of Carter, Reagan, Oliver Stone, George Bush and others. Italso takes really chutzpah to direct a film that (unless I missed it)had neither a title nor any credits until the end. <br><br>The only vaguely negative view I had about this film is that it quietlyglosses over the huge pain, death and suffering that the smuggled drugswill be causing to thousands of Americans under the covers. And thismildly guilty thought lingers with you after the lights come up toslightly - just slightly - take the edge off the fun.   Stylish,thrilling, moving and enormously funny in places, this is action cinemaat its best. A must see film. <br><br>(For the full graphical review of the film please visit http://bob-the- movie-man.com. Thanks.)
Action / Biography
Action / Biography
Barry Seal was just an ordinary pilot who worked for TWA before he was recruited by the CIA in 1978. His work in South America eventually caught the eye of the Medellín Cartel, associated with Pablo Escobar, who needed a man with his skill set. Barry became a drug trafficker, gun smuggler and money launderer. Soon acquiring the title, 'The gringo that always delivers'.
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