Tom Cruise’s best performance, or how to best smuggle weapons and drugs

American Made. Released 25 augustus 2017. Director: Doug Liman

American Made is based on the bizarre and true-to-life experiences of Barry Seale (Tom Cruise), a pilot recruited unexpectedly by the CIA to perform one of the largest secret operations in American history.

This film is based in part on the life of the true Barry Seal. In the early months of 1986, the then-sixty-year-old pilot Barry Seal was shot in his car in clear daylight. Smuggler Seal had made quite a few enemies, and in the last few months his life was even less certain than it already was. 

Also starring, among others, Domhnall Gleeson, Sarah Wright, E. Roger Mitchell, Jesse Plemons, Lola Kirke, Alejandro Edda, Benito Martinez, Caleb Landry Jones and Jayma Mays. Directed by Doug Liman (Edge of Tomorrow).

Barry’s wife Lucy does not know better than that her husband has a good job as a pilot at a major airline. It is a good job that brings bread to the board, thus maintaining the two children of the couple with a third. That the busy Barry occasionally smokes a bunch of Cuban cigars may hardly have a name but will add some extra cash.

When Barry is revealed as a man who acts as an employee of the CIA, it is the fence of the dam. Barry leaves his employer to shoot aerial photographs for the CIA to locate rebels who are affiliated with the Soviet Union. And if he gets into Colombia, he is reallocated by the Pablo Escobar club as a cocaine smuggler of.

If he did not go through so many wrong practices, Seal’s life story was like an exciting boy book. This is also sure how his movie biographer Doug Liman in American Made is flying the complicated tasks that Seal had to perform for all kinds of parties. The case is getting more complex as Barry gets the printer and is being monitored by more eyes.

Liman scores points as long as he keeps the pace well and Cruise does not do too much character activity. In his interpretation, Seal is a lefgoer who regularly overestimates himself. Nevertheless, he deserves respect and he comes a lot with the result that he takes even more risks. This is also slightly embedded in the political situation of the seventies and eighties, both under Carter and Reagan.

It would be boring if we were just hopping from job to job, so writer Gary Spinelli also threw in the smuggler’s family life. Woman Lucy will soon find out what kind of dark things her husband is doing.

Especially when it turns out that money is flowing in, woman Lucy easily goes along. The fact that her relationship consists only of misconceptions, lies and false assumptions is not played out.

The limits of Cruise as a dramatic actor are  clear but the American is well on track when his character is allowed to fly and run.  Liman has attempted to make a mix of drama, thriller, adventure and comedy, but we still like it.

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