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Old October 1st, 2017, 08:46 AM
ashdoc ashdoc is offline
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Ashdoc's movie review---American made

SPOILERS AHEAD

It is the swinging seventies and the cold war is in full swing . CIA agent Monty Schafer ( played by Domhnall Gleeson ) surprises TWA pilot Barry Seal ( played by Tom Cruise ) by showing him photos of his smuggling of Cuban cigars , and asks him to join the CIA to fly reconnaissance missions over south America where communist revolution is brewing . Seal is a happy go lucky character who salivates at the thought of his own plane to fly and agrees without a thought . At home however his wife Lucy ( played by Sarah Wright ) has other ideas about the new 'job' which entails going without the perks of a regular salary , but Barry is too hooked to the adventurous life .

Soon the CIA asks Barry to act as courier between themselves and general Noriega of Panama , but here Barry's crooked side manifests itself . He agrees to fly drugs for the Medellin cartel into the USA . His expert flying skills come handy here as he has to fly from a small rough airstrip with a heavy load and has to fly between treetops . But he has a flair for drug smuggling . He even designates the spot where he will drop the loads in USA , overruling the ideas of the drug lords . The drug lords begin to call him 'the crazy gringo who always delivers' and begins to trust him .

But soon he is caught in drug lord Pablo Escobar's lair in a raid by anti narcotics police and the CIA has to rescue him as he is too useful to them . But now he is a slave of the CIA ; after all they can hand him over to the police . But the CIA has grander uses for him . They shift him and his family to a remote town called Mena in Arkansas , and his wife's severe objections to this shift are silenced by Barry by simply throwing what a woman is impressed by most---money what else .

In Mena Barry gets his own airfield to run guns supplied by the CIA for the contras in Nicaragua and soon his operations are expanded to more planes and more pilots . Money begins to flow in such vast amounts that the local bank opens a vault exclusively for Barry and the local sheriff turns a blind eye to the happenings . Wads of cash literally overflow in his house because in return trips after delivering guns Barry brings drugs into USA . Lucy is too happy as long as the money flows in and even brings her brother there . But the brother is caught by the sheriff laundering cash and in return for this perfidy he is killed by the drug mafia . Barry and his family are in a dangerous business indeed .

But the CIA is ever ready to help Barry whenever he is in trouble because he is so useful to them . We soon get to see Barry acquire an aura of invincibility in the film because even if the top lawmakers try to bring him to book , he is saved by the unseen hands of the CIA . He is worth it too . Only he knows how to avoid the patrols of drug police in the air , dodging them by flying low and slow whereas their planes are too fast and run out of fuel too soon . In fact , Barry and his cronies fly so slow that once one of them falls asleep and Barry has to jolt his plane's wing with his own plane's wing to wake him up .

The CIA then asks Barry to fly the contras to USA in order to train them . Mena town soon hosts a mini army of them , but many don't want to fight and disappear in the USA becoming illegal migrants . There are some hilarious incidents like the drug lords ordering their men to shoot down Barry in English and Barry and his co pilot cowering without realising that the man given orders does not understand English and a prank is being pulled off . The whole movie has this breezy air and seems to not take itself seriously . Tom Cruise too has done acting in a self mocking manner that has the audience sniggering at his air of breezy self confidence and his ability to get off serious trouble without a hitch .

But actually this is a very dangerous game . One mistake and you are gone . And this mistake is made by colonel Oliver North when he releases on live television pictures secretly taken by Barry which shows him in company with Pablo Escobar . The CIA once more saves Barry from the law , but from now on Barry is a man marked by the mafia for certain death....Lucy proves her loyalty to him by wanting to stay with him even in this hour of danger , but he forces her to stay separate for sake of the kids . His own days are numbered . He makes a video regretting not having asked more questions when the CIA recruited him , but now it is too late to save his own life....

The movie scores on acting , while colours and photography of the dense green jungles of central and south America is good . Also good is photography of Barry's famed flying skills .Background music is appropriate for the situations .

The whole scandal was occurred in President Ronald Reagan's presidency , and his support for the whole CIA operation is the secret of Barry's invincibility in front of the lawmakers who want to catch him . But the CIA's duplicitous nature is seen when they drop Barry like a hot potato and abandon him when their use for him is over . They even deny the existence of Schafer who was the agent who initially contacted Barry and destroy all papers related to the operation . Of course , Barry is crooked too and worth dropping as he is mixed with the drug mafia . The CIA turns a blind eye to this as long as it suits them but in the long run pawns like Barry have to be sacrificed for the sake of the security of the nation and the sanctity of the democratic order . Of course !!

Verdict---Good .

Three stars out of five .
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Old October 1st, 2017, 09:11 AM
ashdoc ashdoc is offline
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Re: Ashdoc's movie review---American made

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Old October 3rd, 2017, 07:23 PM
log1iszero log1iszero is offline
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Re: Ashdoc's movie review---American made

Read from a friend..

Quote:
American Made

It is always a joy to watch a Cruise starer in theaters, mostly because his movies are filled with wholesome entertainment, most of them being glorious action films of recent times. American made is probably the only film after Valkyrie(2008) where he is not an action hero and thus he returned to the drama-comedy genre for which he was infamous during the 90s, one who has watched Jerry maguire for zillion times, this movie was surely a recap of why he is such a brililant performer onscreen, he looks good, can steal hearts with that old school charm and make you root for the not so morally grounded hero. American made is a right away reply to those very harsh critics of The mummy this summer, its yet proven that be it romancing a Mummy or romancing a normal human being, he is good at what he does. Also the fact that he flies a lot of planes in this movie, it certainly reminds you that how he always shines as a pilot onscreen, few more reasons to re-watch Top Gun and wait for Top Gun 2 with great anticipation.


The plot revolves around Barry (Cruise), who is a pilot, and how he gets hired by CIA, the drug curtail of Pablo escobar, the white house to do their 'assigned' jobs and in return earn millions for his living. He gets tangled up into too much business, where he finds himself stuck in a huge quagmire, for example there was a scenario where there was no space to hide his money, and that was not supposed to be a problem for Barry when he started the job.


The performances are great, Tom Cruise performs his best in years, he is always so easy and sleep walking in action roles that this movie was a breath of fresh air. And he keeps stealing claps and laughs in almost every scene he is in, the character itself is written so well that any actor would be overjoyed to be in his shoes. His comic timing is amazing, and yes those smirks and grin with aviator sunglasses on his eyes, obviously always a treat for a fan. He should keep doing character roles along with action films, if a 55 year old ma like him performs this well and looks physically so fit, then i do not think critics need an answer. The rest of the cast performs very well too, special mention to Gleeson, again a perfect actor for a quirky role, and amazing chemistry with Cruise. The moments between Barry and Schafer are a must watch.


Overall, this movie is a must watch for cinema lovers, great dialogues, amazing chemistry between characters, a lead that makes you go crazy with his journey and some catchy bg score too. A mention for Doug Liman, he is a genius and I mean it, he brings out the best of Cruise, be it Edge of Tomorrow or American made, he assures that the actor Cruise is far greater than the star he is.


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