Saturday, 26 August 2017

American Made Film Review

I flew yesterday with Tom Cruise as Barry Seal in American Made by director Doug Liman. And it was the American Dream, if a little unorthodox in how it gets there.

Tom really entertains as a TWA pilot who with a side line in smuggling cigars comes to the attention of the lovely Domhnall Gleeson's CIA man. Names may be alibis so they're not important! Barry is the sort of guy that the CIA can use, flying a plane in South America and taking great close ups of the rebels. His exploits lend themselves to drug running for Pablo Escobar and the drug cartel in Colombia with drop off in the Louisiana swamps. But it all comes at a price.

And it's hard to stash that much cash away.

But as the money mounts up the jobs just keep coming. At the height of the Cold War the Americans decide to arm rebels in Nicaragua against the Russian backed Communists. So Barry now delivers guns and he's literally opening banks himself with his millions. Gorgeous wife Lucy played by Sarah Wright despairs, but it's the good life with diamonds and furs. Her loser brother JD is a loose cannon though. And one day he might just explode.

Of course the CIA then decide that they want to train the contras so Barry expands operations to bring them to the US for training. He also now owns an air field and thousands of acres in a tiny town in Arkansas, gifted by the CIA, so plenty of room. But we know what happens when you bring illegals to the west. So keen are they to come they tend to go missing. But just a casualty of a war they aren't interested in fighting.

Now as Barry is amassing a fortune and building an army in his back yard, he starts selling the guns he's delivering for the nonplussed contras to Escobar and the drug cartel. And whilst exploring Panama's rich and green pastures, back home he comes to the attention of the local policeman, played by Kirsten Dunst's own sweet Jesse Plemons. As well as the FBI, DEA and various other abbreviated law enforcement agencies. But the CIA dump Barry when the heat gets too hot. And then would you believe that that actor who played against a chimp wins the White House. (No jokes please). So Barry gets an unofficial pardon, from Governor Clinton of Arkansas no less, and he's at the White House working for the government to bring down the same drugs cartel he's helping to grow their business. Either that or jail. So what you gonna do?

I don't really know much about the period in world history when the Iran-Contra affair happened with Oliver North. But I do remember as a kid Nancy Reagan and her Just Say No campaign. But it was a frantic couple of hours and Tom works the audience like the pro he is. His Barry Seal was a real maverick and the architecture of the story is breathless in it's audacity.

With plenty of turbulence and conjecture as to the whole truth and nothing but the truth, it's a story you don't want to miss.

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