American Made Review
A Fast-Paced Story Which is Crazy and Chaotic Until the Very End
Tom Cruise is one of the biggest movie stars ever, but he does have a reputation of being a bit of an oddball. However, Cruise can not be anymore frantic and absurd as the character who he portrays in this movie. The movie often claims that this story is hard to believe, and it is difficult to believe that the story in this film is actually true.
American Made tells the true story of pilot Barry Seal (Tom Cruise), who is unexpectedly recruited by the CIA to complete certain operations by flying to Central America and making deliveries. However, Seal also gets recruited by the Medellin Cartel to smuggle drugs into the states. So, Seal starts to get into a routine of making deliveries for the CIA and the cartel. Even though he starts to become involved with dangerous people and is breaking many U.S. laws, Seal is making millions upon millions and wants to keep supporting his wife (Sarah Wright Olsen) and his children. As the situation continues, it begins to become more ridiculous and out of hand.
Tom Cruise is really great in this movie. This character is very unstable and reckless and Cruise does a good job at making those traits recognizable from this character. Cruise often has a maniacal smile on his face throughout the movie and that just helps to show who Seal really is. I also thought Olsen was good as his wife. I haven't seen much of her in other movies, but she and Cruise do have good chemistry and she proves that she can go toe to toe with a star of his caliber.
Domhnall Gleeson plays the CIA agent who recruits Seal and I thought his character was very strange. I was never 100 percent sure what his motives were, but Gleeson does a good job at making this character seem like a bit of a scumbag.
Doug Liman creates a very fast paced atmosphere throughout. Almost every other scene something new and crazy is happening which helps to add to how outlandish this actual story is. Liman never lets you sit and think about it, he just wants to bring you into the mayhem of this story. I also how he split the storytelling between the events on screen and Seal directly telling the audience about what happened. When Seal spoke directly to the camera, it let us into his psyche a little bit more and I was able to determine the weight of each moment.
I think the movie's main flaw is that it is jumping around a little bit too much for its own good. For example, it'll be focusing on Seal's family, and then it will go back to the CIA, and then it will go back to the medellin cartel. I think the movie would've benefitted from giving the audience more time with each different aspect of his life. The CIA and the cartel were a bit underused because the main focus was put on Seal's family. I would've liked to have seen a little bit more of his dealing with the cartel or the CIA in order to get a better understanding about what was going on.
I also think there should have been a bit more focus on the mind of Seal. The movie just shows whats happening, but it does a poor job at showing how all of t is affecting seal.
American Made is an intriguing look at a true story that is absolutely insane. It might be a little bit too fast, but it is still immensely entertaining. It shows another example of a crazy, American who will do whatever it takes for money, however, it still manages to tell its own unique story. Cruise continues to show why he's a huge movie star and hopefully, he continues making projects as good as this one.