Verdict: Tom Cruise proves that he is the gringo who always delivers.
"It is not illegal if the good guys do it."
You will have to agree that there is a certain appeal to antiheroes that us normal viewers cannot seem to resist. Characters like Walter White and Pablo Escobar are proofs that in the end, it is the antiheroes that rule the day. That is also the case with Tom Cruise's Barry Seal in American Made. Barry Seal is a TWA pilot but apparently, that is not enough for him (you will soon realize nothing is). He also smuggles cigars into the United States by the way of his job, that is when he is not busy rattling his passengers and co-pilot by creating fake turbulences. He definitely needs something more out of his life and a little more money won't hurt either.
That's when the CIA guys notice him and instead of turning him in, CIA Agent Monty Schafer (Domhnall Gleeson) decides to use Barry's skill to get photographs of the situation of the then communists-occupied central America. Barry gleefully signs up for this while keeping his wife Lucy (Sarah Wright) in dark. On one of his missions, he is accosted by the Medellin Cartel who want him to smuggle cocaine on his flights back home and he does that as well. That starts Barry Seal's real journey as he flits between the cartel and the CIA which results in him being really, really rich. But when each party starts demanding more, that's when the real trouble starts.
Tom Cruise's look in the movie might remind you of his role in Top Gun and it seems like he hasn't aged at all since then. The guy is in his 50s and he pulls off being a 30-year-old on screen in a movie that has the character constantly on the move. It is true that Tom Cruise looks nothing like the real-life Barry Seal nor does he even dress even a little like the 70s (although all his co-actors did). He will still make you believe that he is Barry Seal with his charm. Barry Seal is cocky and doesn't seem to have any guilt associated with his actions and that is exactly the thing which makes you fall in love with him.
This is Doug Liman's second collaboration with Tom Cruise (the first being Edge of Tomorrow) and this one keeps you on the edge of your seat even if you know Barry Seal's real story. The story is narrated via the tapes of Barry Seal who recounts everything that happened since his first encounter with Monty Schafer and how over the years his employment changed hands from CIA to the cartel to the White House. The tone, the setting and even the Universal logo before the movie scream the 70's era. And just to make things very clear, there are real-life montages and some actual footage Regan as the president.
The movie promises you a story of Barry Seal who was an integral part of CIA's most important operations in Central America and it delivers on that. There are no unnecessary added layers. The story is plain and simple and the best part is that they haven't even tried to portray Barry Seal as a good guy.
Why You Should Watch This Movie:
The movie has action, comedy and a whole lot of drama while keeping you at the edge of your seat through it. Tom Cruise has once again proved that nothing is impossible for him and he excels in these fast-paced movies. You should also watch it because Barry Seal has certainly led a very eventful life.