Tom Cruise is back, and in American Made, a tale supposedly based on the real life story of pilot Barry Seal, who worked as a smuggler for the CIA and Cartel.
I went into the movie with an open mind and a rather optimistic mind set, because to me a Tom Cruise film is bound to be good, isn’t it? I have to say for the quality of the story and the overall acting and character depth, the film falls flat.
At no point in the movie did I feel like the characters cared or had struggles, I didn’t even feel like Barry Seal cared when he was threatened with prison and by the drug lords he double crosses. There just wasn’t enough private time and character building to make them believable. The acting was decent itself, but had the actors been directed a little better or at least tried to portray their roles more realistically, then the film could have made a empathetic impression.
The story, as interesting as the premise is, also hits the mark of boring. It is a pilot, who spends his time flying, things happen for no reason, such as the recruiting of other pilots whom just turn up, and quick shots of situations that could have been slowed down. Comedy is there but not strong enough to bring the movie out of the documentary style film that this is. There was one scene, where Barry Seal is flying and is intercepted by the authorities, he makes an emergency landing on a road and crashes into a house. Appearing from the crash covered in cocaine, he tosses a wad of cash at the child whom stands in shock. This scene, although brief, actually brought some tension to the character and showed how this man was really a ‘fugitive’ and that his decision to break the law was perhaps the wrong one.
There is the wife, the children of Barry, who are neglected throughout and her brother, who ends up bringing more trouble. It feels like a documentary bordering on a reality show.
I want to praise it because there are good mixes of comedy and drama, good acting and a strong potential for an awesome film. I can’t though, because I felt like the film was a brief and not very memorable flashback of someone who ends up dead anyway.
I’m crediting the strengths generously: