Review: ‘American Made’ Is A Thrilling Tom Cruise Adventure From Beginning To End
Tom Cruise brings his A-game for “American Made!”
“American Made” is adapted from the true story of pilot Ben Seals (Tom Cruise). As a TWA pilot, Seals surprisingly finds himself working for the CIA running spy missions and additionally finds a monetary interest in drug smuggling for the Columbian cartel. As this relationship between opposing entities develops, so does a world of trouble for all parties involved.
Cinematics (Cinematography, Acting, Plot, etc.) – 3.5
Tom Cruise is an actor that manages to fit himself into most any role. “American Made” establishes a role for Cruise that is charismatically fitting. Barry Seal is based on a real life individual that Tom Cruise transforms into a charming outlaw. Cruise’s onscreen presence accompanied by many hearty subplots makes for a fulfilling story. I was reminded of films like “Catch Me If You Can” and “Blow” as the story progressed. Many of the outlandish, unbelievable moments present in these films are intensified in “American Made.” The plot gets incrementally better as the film progresses.
With each new plot element comes an increased level of suspense. The initial intrigue of Barry being recruited by the CIA gradually morphs into tension as a triangle between the Columbian cartel, law enforcement, and Barry is established. The tension throughout the film is another element that further supplements the already well-developed plot.
The characters, both leading and supporting, also carry an adequate amount of weight. Tom Cruise performs as expected showcasing his talents as an actor that he has honed over his years of experience. I wouldn’t consider this role to be a breakthrough performance, but he has certainly mastered his craft. Domhnall Gleeson (CIA Agent Shaffer) also brings talent to the film paving his own path to cinematic stardom. While this film is mostly about Tom Cruise’s character Barry Seal, the few moments between Cruise and Gleeson are subtly well-crafted. As for the rest of the cast, they all fit well into their specific roles in the film.
Overall “American Made” falls into a cinematic category of well above average. It’s well structured and low risk which should cast a wide net over moviegoers in the realm of both cinephiles and general audiences.
Entertainment Value – 4.5
“American Made” is highly entertaining rarely taking a break from the fun. As things begin to cool down in one area, a new element is introduced to reignite the fire. The idea of an average airline pilot working for the CIA could have been enough to sustain this film’s engagement but multiple, cohesive layers are fluidly added maintaining a rhythmic flow. Timing of events are well executed and never seem out of place. And while so many layers are being added, not once does the film seem too difficult to follow.
“American Made” is a good mix for just about anyone. There are elements of suspense accompanied by comedy to ease the tension. Then there’s the intrigue and curiosity surrounding the events taking place as well as the ultimate question of “what will become of Barry Seals?” Additionally this film has the true story factor that is further reinforced with portrayals of real life historical moments and prominent real life figures.
There are so many levels on which this film entertains. Many will agree that they enjoyed “American Made” and I can even see some people raving about it as a standout film.
Re-Watchability – 4
This is a film that will remain to be a crowd pleaser for years to come. Additionally I see this as a go-to film for casual couch viewings while channel surfing or Netflix hunting. There is plenty of lasting entertainment to go around for many repeat viewings.
- Entertainment Value
"American Made" is a fun-filled adventure that keeps up the pace from beginning to end. Tom Cruise creates a charming persona for the real life figure Barry Seal. I found myself rooting for the "bad guy" throughout and felt fully satisfied with the experience by the film's conclusion. This is definitely one of the most entertaining films of the year.
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