Lamar reviews - American Made

October 6, 2017

Just like all “based on a true story” this movie starts with the name of a real person and a real event and tries to make the most entertaining movie that will make the most money possible.  In this particular movie it’s about a guy named Barry Seal, played by Tom Cruise, that was a TWA pilot that was recruited by the CIA to do aerial photography of communist compounds in Central America.  He then graduated to taking cash payoffs to General Noriega.  According to the movie he was recruited by Pablo Escobar and the Ochoa Brothers to smuggle cocaine into the United States on his return trips.  The movie makes it look like Barry was responsible for helping to build the Medellin Cartel.  And according to the movie Barry thought he was being a patriot and helping America.  The whole “aw shucks” good ole boy who was fiercely loyal to his wife and kid’s while he risked his life for his country, makes this a fun movie to watch.  But if you do a little research on Barry Seal you find out he was a fantastic pilot who got fired from TWA for smuggling plastic explosives to Mexico.  He was married 3 times and had 5 kids.  He became the most successful drug smuggler in American History. 

After getting caught Barry offered to be an informant and hooked up with the DEA and CIA and became a player in the Iran-Contra debacle.

If you take this actual story and make a movie using an actor that actually looks like the real life Barry Seal it’s not going to work.  Right off the bat you are going to see him for who he is and under no circumstances are you going to be cheering for him.  The answer is throw the facts out and cast the role with one of the most powerful forces known to the movie industry.

Tom Cruise in Aviator sunglasses.  When you see that tousled hair and those Aviators the first thing you think of is Maverick and Top Gun, and he’s flying a plane!  Yes he’s running drugs and illegal arms but it’s ok, you can trust Maverick.  This is a completely different role for Tom Cruise.  Most of the characters he plays are guys that are smarter and tougher than anybody else on the screen.  He always knows what’s going on and exactly what needs to be done.  In this movie he plays Barry as the charming guy that just does whatever he’s told and is oblivious to the possible consequences.  The bank gave him his own private vault.  In fact 2 more banks opened up in town just for his cash.  He has dozens of suitcases packed with cash.  His closet is full of shoe boxes of cash.  He has dozens of bags of cash buried in his yard.  He never seems to link the amount of money he’s being paid to any possible trouble he could get into.

When the audience dose recognize that what’s he’s doing might actually be a bad thing, bam, he puts on the sunglasses, jumps in plane, and smiles that  dazzling smile and everything is good again.

1 hour and 55 minutes, Rated R for language and some sexuality.

The movie is a dark comedy very, very loosely based on a real person.  Without Cruise not only would it not be any good, I can’t imagine it actually being made.  But it does have him and he’s running on all cylinders.

This might actually make you forget his lackluster performance in the Mummy fiasco.

My Score: 4 Buds



Lamar reviews - American Trade

Tom Cruise flies high in his new movie "American Trade".