Director Doug Liman’s (The Bourne Identity, Supremacy, and Ultimatum) ‘American Made’ (2017) threatened to be a film carved out of the rock face of compelling cinematography, using a scalpel of international intrigue and the suture of true bio-pic earnestness. It would appear that Doug Liman has maintained the standard of excellence in filmmaking that he has established for himself in his career. In ‘American Made’, he was able to do so with outstanding contributions from superstar lead actor Tom Cruise, supporting actor Sarah Wright, the creative producing wisdom of your Ron Howard and ours, along with the unflappable Brian Grazer. Indeed, Liman carried out the threat of helming an amazing bio-pic. Granted, it would be safe to assert that (occasionally) zany storyline fell out of bed and into the pool of inherently compelling … from jump street. This is of course assuming, that most film-goers would find the story behind the most significant clandestine CIA Operation in the history of these United States … a compelling one. Well, the operation was, and the story behind it most certainly is.
SPOILER ALERT: “American Made” (2017)
Portraying Commercial Airline Pilot turned covert CIA informant – Barry Seal (Above/Left) is veteran leading man TOM CRUISE (Above/right) in ‘American Made’ (2017) aims to fly over JOHNNY DEPP’s performance in ‘BLOW’ (2001) (Below).
Tom Cruise in his best Barry Seal posture. “American Made” (2017)
Johnny Depp as prolific cocaine smuggler George Jung in ‘Blow’ (Above). Tom Cruise as ‘American Made’ commercial airline pilot turned prolific cocaine smuggler with CIA backing Barry Seal (Pictured below).
Every once in awhile, and occasionally now and again; the realities involved with truthful engagement proves the maxim that ‘Truth is Stranger than Fiction’. In these rare instances, there is manifest potential for a noteworthy piece of transcendent filmmaking. The kind of greatness that those blessed to experience this rarefied air can properly attest. The baseline truth contained within the greatest films of all-time – is the noteworthy and powerful spinal cord of story, and story development.
‘American Made’ is based on an outlandishly devious true story, and it develops nicely – Check the box and let’s move on…
‘American Made’ is going to be at the very least a good film. However, if it was produced with any kind of competence, then it’s likely to be a great film. How can we be sure about this, you ask?
Simple. It’s about BARRY SEAL.
Of course the reviews of the Doug Liman helmed film were initially mixed – aren’t they always? However, truly great films find their proper level after the passage of some time. What is virtually undeniable, perhaps even unquestionable, is that the life and times of Bio-Pic subject ‘Barry Seal’ would make Shakespeare blush on his way to drop off a 1/2 kilo of cocaine at Juliet Capulet’s grotto. His life was that outrageous.
In short, in the 46 years that Mr. Seal walked this earth he managed to become a legendary American drug runner, arms dealer, cocaine smuggler, money launderer, and airplane pilot for the notoriously ruthless, savagely murderous man, known as ‘Pablo Emilio Escobar’, and his infamous ‘Medellín Cartel’.
Tom Cruise has an absolute gem of a character to play in ‘American Made’. At the height of his success Barry Seal was making upwards of $500,000 per drug smuggling flight…oh, I should probably mention that’s a 1/2 million each way. Then there’s the CIA, covert photographs, Congressional hearings, plea deals, witness protection, and the whole nine chips and a bowl of salsa. Throw in a ‘Scooby Doo’ lunch box people, and It’s all in there.
We at IdiotsGuides hold firm to the belief that casting means everything in bio-pics. The list of actors who could’ve played Ray Charles better than Jamie Foxx? The answer is there isn’t a list. To be considered a list there needs to be at least 3 – 4 names on it. The fact of the matter there simply wasn’t. In the extraordinarily curious case of American Made pilot, Barry Seal…#1 on the list was Tom Cruise.