American Made is a biographical crime drama based on a true story surrounding former pilot turned cocaine smuggler, Barry Seal, who later acts as an informant for the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA).
The film sees the return of Tom Cruise as a legitimate and talented actor, able to effectively portray a character so well that it’s difficult to believe that he’s simply acting. Cruise’s performance as Barry is undoubtedly refreshing and brings back memories of his older acting repertoire, such as The Firm and A Few Good Men, which reminds us of Cruise’s talent as a formidable actor after years of flops.
The plot is especially exciting, with the narrative told in a way which allows audiences to witness events unfold as if they were a fly on the wall, watching Barry’s rise and eventual downfall. The way in which the narrative flows throughout the film makes us feel a kind of kinship with Barry, either rooting for him or praying for his capture. In many ways, the main plot of the film brings out our emotions as we patiently await the film’s resolution.
Character development in a biographical film is crucial and American Made pulls this off well with solid character building. The film effectively introduces us to the key parties, including the notorious Pablo Escobar from the Medellín Cartel, and manages to depict the part each character plays in progressing the events of the film in a succinct fashion.
Plot twists are aplenty, which only adds to the allure of the film, along with key moments that will have audiences on the edge of their seats. If you’re a fan of air-planes and flying in films, then you’re in luck as the entire film is filled with incredible flying feats as Barry flies through dangerous territories and in the most demanding of circumstances. It was rather exhilarating at times to watch Barry manoeuvre his way out of tough and challenging situations.
Of course, the most intriguing and exciting aspect of the entire film was watching Barry play the double agent and managing to get away with murder (so to speak) through almost every situation. It was this stroke of luck that made the film alluring as we desperately awaited for the other shoe to drop.
American Made is one of those rare biographical films that is actually quite thrilling and exciting to watch, especially the way in which it reaffirms Tom Cruise as a ‘good’ and talented actor. Through multiple twists and turns, the film manages to keep audiences on its toes and neatly ties loose ends together for a tidy and appropriate ending. This one is most definitely worth the watch.