American Made Review
Director: Doug Liman.
Bourne Identity director Doug Liman (personally my favourite of the Bourne franchise) reunites with Cruise after their first collaboration, Edge of Tomorrow and it's the Cruise we all want to see, putting him back on form pushing The Mummy and Jack Reacher clearly off the shelf.
The film tells the extraordinarily, unbelievable true story of Barry Seal. A drug smuggler, gun runner and money launderer who worked for the Medellín Cartel, you know, the one with Pablo Escobar; and the CIA, the DEA and the US Government, back in the 80s. Cruise playing Seal superbly with a half-cocked, yet bold and flamboyant character. He portrays Seal as being a man who's clearly out of his depth but the mountains of money and his ego make it hard for him to stop what he's doing.
The story's structure and narrative is brilliantly crafted and instead of glamorising a character that undoubtedly has a questionable moral compass, you actually grow to like the guy. The style and story remind me very much of Pain and Gain, War Dogs and The Wolf of Wall Street. Both being true stories about hot-headed, greedy and ambitious people who eventually get themselves into some serious trouble. I actually ended up feeling sorry for Seal when really the man was directly responsible for supplying millions of dollars worth of cocaine to the American people and you end up wanting to know if he actually did some of these stunts; did that actually happen?
And like both of those films, this is also highly entertaining and engaging with Seal flying so close under the radar, dealing with some of the most dangerous people in South America, you just can't wait to see what happens next, wondering when his luck will eventually run out.
It's very much all Cruise here and it's him at his best which was a joy to see. His portrayal almost looks like he's loving every minute of it. While the rest of the supporting cast do good, it's Landry Jones that is the only supporting actor that outshines the others. I can't think of any film where he hasn't played his part well. He's totally believable and if I was ever to meet him, I would probably dislike him on the grounds of the characters he plays.
It's accompanied by a good soundtrack with a mixture of songs from that era but Christophe Beck does an unnoticeable and forgettable score. I'm pretty sure I heard the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and Louis Clark's Hooked On Classics being played for quite a period during the film.
Liman has done a great job of telling a notorious and turbulent story, but in such an enjoyable and sometimes funny, where it shouldn't be funny way. It reminds me of my own stories that would equally unbelievable, but no matter the bad of it, we can always see the funny side of it now and this is exactly that, the funny side of a crazy, criminal story.
Running Time: 9
The Cast: 9
Job Description: 10
The Extra Bonus Point: 5 for Cruise being back in the pilot seat. A welcome return.