Genre: Action, Biography, Comedy
Director: Doug Spinelli
Cast: Tom Cruise, Domhnall Gleeson, Sarah Wright, Jesse Plemons, Caleb Landry Jones
Runtime: 1h 55mins
American Made is a movie that falls along the lines of “Fast paced, half ass told story.” Everything flies by at a high rate of speed that when you go back to think about the film as a whole, you just sort of forget what you just saw.
For starters, Tom Cruise is fun. Tom Cruise really makes this movie appealing to watch because of how his character is charismatic, adventurous, and somewhat deviant. Tom helps keep the film together as it transitions from scene to scene. And you’re really thankful he’s around holding the movie together because if he wasn’t, this project would’ve fallen apart right from the start.
The issue with fast story telling is that the film feels like it’s always missing something. The timelines sort of just happen and you tend to feel lost throughout because you don’t know what day, month, or year it is. You don’t know how long this character has been going through certain situations. And so on. It’s not to say fast pace story telling can’t work. But when you have an extensive amount of characters and very important people to cover, it doesn’t feel like the movie is doing them any justice whatsoever.
Another point that’s bothersome is the tone of this film. It’s a very light hearted movie from start to finish but, spoiler, Barry dies. This raises questions about the research of the history behind these people. Did they, the family members, think it was funny after a while? Was this movie too serious and the studio demanded it to be changed? Was the director oblivious to the whole situation? Was this film just a straight cash grab?
Fun, light hearted stories work well, for the most part, but when the main person actually died in real life, you have to wonder what the reason for this pick in tone was? Maybe Barry was very much like how this movie portrayed him but if he wasn’t, this film should piss off the living members close to him and insult anyone who really knows what happened.
Lastly, there were some genuinely funny scenes in this movie. Even though the film may offend the living family members or is inaccurate with some of its information, there were scenes that just got me to laugh really hard. And that’s too be expected, at least once, with fast paced story telling. You would hope they would at least get that right.
American Made is a movie that might offend people who know the true history behind the real Barry Seal. But for those who don’t, it’s a 2 hour film that just flies through its scenes and leaves almost no impact other than a laugh or two.
The tone of the movie is probably wrong and bothersome. The plot is forgettable as soon as you watch it. And the acting varies from really good to very mediocre. But Tom is really fun. There are some funny scenes. And the light hearted feel will give pleasure to those who really, really want to see it.
This film isn’t going to blow anyone away. It might get a few people to say “That was really good.”