"American Made" is based on a true story. If we didn’t know it was true, we would have a hard time believing a lot of this happened.
Despite its being based on true events, Tom Cruise does his best work in years in this smart, funny, fast-paced film that serves up so many twists and turns that we find ourselves laughing at the predicaments and then laughing again astonished at the fact that it’s — you guessed it — based on a true story.
Enough on bragging about that. What’s it about?
Cruise stars as Barry Seal, a TWA pilot who gets contacted by CIA agent Monty Schafer (Domhnall Glesson currently also starring in "Mother!"). Schafer wants Seal to do clandestine work for the CIA by performing reconnaissance flights over Central America. He accepts the offer even if he has to keep his actions a secret from his wife (Sarah Wright).
Seal soars literally and figuratively as his missions gather him a lot of intel for the CIA and make friends who are not quite friendly. He encounters Pablo Escobar, who wants him to start doing illegal drug runs for him.
That doesn’t stop Seal from bringing home loads of cash to the point his home can’t really hold it all.
I mentioned this was based on a true story, didn’t I?
"American Made" was directed by Doug Liman who collaborated with Cruise on "Edge of Tomorrow," another great film and this one is no exception.
Focusing on Cruise’s performance, he again returns to the charm and high energy that made him a star in the first place. His character is so filled with moral ambiguity that we can’t help but think he deserves repercussions for his transgressions.
By the same token, his character seems to embrace what he’s doing on both sides of the law and we can’t help but laugh all the way to his bank.
The movie looks good, it offers a lot of insight into its world and the people involved.
Above all, it’s truly entertaining from start to finish. Now do yourself a favor: Don’t discuss the facts about it after you’ve seen it.
Rated R for language throughout and some sexuality/nudity.
Hall is a syndicated columnist in South Georgia.