Barry Seal, a TWA pilot, is recruited by the CIA to provide reconnaissance on the burgeoning communist threat in Central America and soon finds himself in charge of one of the biggest covert CIA operations in the history of the United States. The operation spawns the birth of the Medellin cartel and almost brings down the Reagan White House.
American Made is the true story of pilot Barry Seal and his run-ins with the CIA, FBI the cartel and just about everyone in-between. Tom Cruise plays Barry Seal in what is one of his best roles in quite some time. Maybe since Edge of Tomorrow, a film by the same director Doug Liman.
The trailer promises that this film gets crazy and it surely does. The thing with American Made is that it is so much to tell in such little time. This film feels a bit rushed but also feels like it lasts for quite a long time. Seal is always doing something new for someone, but the story is never hard to follow. So much stuff happens and there is never really a break and I think that works to this movies benefit.
I feel the need to compare this film to Blow, another film about a drug trafficker working with Pablo Escobar. You can really feel the emotional connections between Johnny Depp’s character and the members of his family, I really cared about his character and what happened to him. In American Made, I can’t say I feel the same. The relationships set up with Seal’s family aren’t quite up to par. American Made really never spends time building the family dynamic like the relationships that made Blow such an awesome movie.
American Made is very well directed and Tom Cruise shines as Barry Seal but I can’t help but think that it’s missing something. Something that elevates it above just a enjoyable movie to a great movie. Tom Cruise is definitely the best part of American Made and people sitting down to watch this film just for his casting alone won’t be disappointed. American Made is well made and a lot of fun, but I have to acknowledge that Blow is the better film.