American Made is a new film starring Tom Cruise which takes a biographical look at the life of Barry Seal, a TWA pilot who was recruited by the CIA to take reconnaissance photos of the Sandinistas in Nicaragua in the late 70s. Barry Seal, it turns out, lived a surreal, amazing life, as he got caught up in the central American drug trade and the Iran-Contra affair.
I thoroughly enjoyed this movie. Forget what you think about Tom Cruise, this is going back to his roots — he’s likable, a great actor, and he disappears into the character of Barry Seal. The film focuses on him almost exclusively, and at no point did I ever have any problem with Tom Cruise’s performance. I think it’s probably the best thing he’s done in years, and it brings me back to how I felt about him back when he was starring in Vanilla Sky, Top Gun, Cocktail and all those films.
The movie itself is very enjoyable. I hesitate to call it a home run, but in baseball terms, it was a solid triple. It’s funny, it’s interesting, it teaches you a little bit about history, the character of Barry Seal is engrossing, and the events going on around him are amazing, especially when you take into consideration that it’s supposed to be based on true events.
I’ll try not to give too much detail of the plot because I encourage you to go out and see this movie for yourself, but in a nutshell, Barry is a standard TWA pilot and he’s incredibly bored. He’s in a bit of a rut, his life’s not moving forward, and he’s not able to give his wife the life she deserves.