REVIEW: Tom Cruise shines in “American Made”

By Mariana Carvajal-Munoz, Staff–

Charismatic as ever, in a variation of the tried-and-true action hero character he is so well known for, Tom Cruise manages to portray Barry Seal with captivating energy in his new film “American Made,” successfully redeeming the disaster that was the 2017 remake of “The Mummy.”

“American Made” is visually pleasing and uses creative visual tools to give it a unique look. The film is also constantly entertaining, and doesn’t fail to engage it’s audience completely.

The movie centers around the story of Barry Seal, a TWA airline pilot who is recruited by CIA agent Monty Schafer (Domhnall Gleeson) to aid in reconnaissance missions, flying over South America with cameras installed in his plane.

In one of his trips, Seal is delivering a package to Panamanian general Noriega, and is approached by Jorge Ochoa (Alejandro Edda) and Pablo Escobar (Mauricio Mejia), who want Seal to fly cocaine on his trips back to the United States.

The CIA then gives Seal another task: to deliver guns to Contras. Since the Contras are uninterested in weaponry, Seal then resorts to secretly giving the guns to the drug lords, a scam that earns Seal so much money that he runs out of places to store it.

The film’s greatest quality is its production and the way the story is presented. Director Doug Liman (the Bourne franchise) clearly had a vision for “American Made”: a fun movie with satirical undertones that is reminiscent of the 70’s and 80’s without fully transporting the viewer to this era. Liman manages to transmit this concept.

In regard to the performances, Cruise truly is the star of the movie. Edda, Mejia and Gleeson’s performances are all fine, but Wright’s is underwhelming.

The main issue with “American Made,” however, is the storyline. The tagline on some of the promotional posters is “Based on a true lie,” which is accurate, because the movie doesn’t exactly serve as a history lesson. This could be explained by Liman’s attempt to make the film somewhat lighthearted, but even so, it’s important to keep in mind that the factuality of the flick is questionable.

All in all, “American Made” is an enjoyable, fun movie that gives Cruise a chance to shine and fully engages the viewers. It is not perfect, but it’s certainly a good watch.

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