But AMERICAN MADE does have a factual history and time frame and makes for quite the biographical crime outing. The fact that much of it is played with a definite wink from its star Tom Cruise doesn’t hurt either.
The action-thriller starts out innocently enough with Cruise as Barry Seal, the youngest airline pilot flying for TWA.
Hot wife and nice kids, too.
However Seal’s life is about to incur a major change and plunge into the murky waters of covert operations—and beyond.
It all begins when he is approached by a CIA operative who wants Cruise to fly clandestine reconnaissance mission via a small twin engine plane over Central America.
Sure enough Cruise accepts.
But when the reconnaissance flights turn into a secret arms delivery service to general Noriega, Cruise embellishes his mission by transporting a Colombian cartel’s cocaine shipments on his return flights to the U.S.
You can image the rest.
For those of you old enough to remember the Contra scandal of the time you know that the entire mess almost brought down the Reagan White House.
Col. Oliver North, anyone?
Bottom line: AMERICAN MADE makes for an hour and 55 minutes of a stylistic, entertaining and R-rated double cross.
The docu-thriller delivers on what it promises.
And how often does that happen today?
My grade: B
JACK GOES TO THE MOVIES Friday’s during Kansas City’s Morning News on 98.1 FM, KMBZ.