“I’m the gringo who always delivers.” 

American Made tells the story of Barry Seal, an airline pilot, who is recruited by the CIA to take pictures of enemies of the United States, that at that time, were being covered up by the U.S. government. As Barry begins to fly around the world and spy on behalf of the CIA, he also becomes a drug smuggler for Pablo Escobar.

Tom Cruise plays our main character in this film, and seeing how well Cruise has portrayed real life characters in the past, I was genuinely looking forward to this film. However, Seal is in his own genre by himself. I never, at any time, found Seal to be interesting. His story, though moderately entertaining, was heavily dissapointing. I looked at this film as none other than a man, sick with his “normal” life, cruise-madeseeking adventure in the craziest of situations. Seal was careless and at often times incredibly arrogant. Seal oozed the typical macho man persona, with his planes, money, and an attractive wife.

Director Doug Liman, who previously worked with Cruise on Edge of Tomorrow, does a good job. I saw no real problem in his direction of the cast, which made the acting during this film good enough to watch. There were problems with some of the acting and some of the actors underplaying their character’s personality. This also led to underutilizing some of the other characters that I believe would have added much to our main character’s personal relationships and increased knowledge of Seal’s psyche and why he chose to get into this business.

I understand why people might enjoy American Made. The story could be, at times, entertaining. But even after delving deep into the persona which is Barry Seal, I couldn’t be more disappointed at the character. Seal is nothing but a glorification of a man disguising his midlife crisis with elaborative illegal dealings with both the CIA and the drug cartel. I wanted to enjoy American Made, but this is a watered down storyline that has been done too many times.

American Made

Starring: Tom Cruise, Sarah Wright, and Domhnall Gleeson


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