I love movies. I love writing about them. Hope you like reading what I write.
It’s been such a long time since Tom Cruise actually played an interesting character! Let’s see if this can change with just one good movie.
Cruise is US pilot Barry Seal in the true story of Seal’s 1980s exploits working with everyone from commercial airlines to drug cartels to the White House.
For years, Mr Cruise has avoided acting in anything where he has to stretch himself. I think the last really good role for him came in Tropic Thunder back in 2007. Since then he’s been really good as an action hero for the most part, but hasn’t really put himself forward in terms of acting.
Here as Barry Seal, drug-smuggler, pilot, CIA informant, he is wonderful. He’s so ridiculously charming and funny without ever getting on your nerves or feeling like he doesn’t take matters seriously when he needs to.
As a story American Made is a Goodfellas structured tale. By that I mean there’s a long POV build up and rise to the top with little reminders of impending doom, followed by a catastrophic fall as our criminal lead gets his comeuppance.
While it’s been done before, as a structure, it really does work. The audience is never lost when we see all these big things like the government and the cartel explained to us through the eyes of a man whose way in over his head.
The film is also, genuinely funny. Doug Liman is directing here and he’s proven once again that he’s a force to be reckoned with when it comes to comedy mixed with action or drama.
American Made is an extremely enjoyable crime film and the best thing Cruise has been involved in this decade.
Recommended Scenario: If you’re in the mood for a great little true caper film.