Sunday, August 27, 2017

Movie Review … American Made

‘Truth is stranger than fiction’ is an often used phrase.  All fiction is based on reality one way or another with true-life tales often more engrossing with ‘American Made’ being a fine example.  The story feels fanciful yet plausible.  It helps having Tom Cruise as its lead as he has made a career of portraying characters to which audiences can relate.  Assisted by Doug Liman’s tight direction, ‘American Made’ is an outlandish tale ripped from yesterday’s headlines.

Barry Seal (Tom Cruise) is a former airline pilot working with a dubious crowd.  Discarding the clean life and now smuggling drugs into Central America, Barry is enjoying the life of easy money and dark crimes.  His wife Lucy (Sarah Wright) tries to keep out of his wayward life which is made harder by the arrival of the C.I.A.  Recruiting Barry to provide intelligence into the main cartel he’s involved with, the federal agency takes no prisoners. With both the government and criminals on his trail, Barry’s actions have consequences reaching all the way to the White House.

American Made’ is an entertaining history lesson.  Filling in the details of a scandal that engulfed Ronald Reagan’s Presidency, it explores the main players in a tawdry saga.  Whilst events are played in a heightened manner, you can see how certain people justified their actions.  In Tom Cruise’s energetic performance, Barry is an opportunist who goes with the flow as long as it suits his needs.  His dealings with various suspect types alter his mindset and determination to live life to the fullest.

Liman’s focussed direction mixes the drama and humour well.  Although its subject matter is serious, ‘American Made’ presents it in a rousing manner mirroring its high-flying excessive 1980’s period setting.  Greed was certainly good for Barry and his cohorts with little of the screenplay feeling drawn out.  There’s hardly a dull moment with real-life figures given bouquets and brickbats in gleefully equal doses.

Tom Cruise again proves his gift for picking the right material. He is well cast in ‘American Made’ with his co-stars giving their all in an engaging movie.  Although some situations may have been changed for narrative purposes, this true-life tale still fascinates decades after its denouncement.

Movie Review Rating out of 10:  7

Movie Review by Patrick Moore

Agree with Patrick's Movie Review? Then please use the comment box.

Patrick Moore's Movie Review is an alternative look at movie releases in Australia.


No comments:

Post a Comment