Belfast Telegraph

American Made: Tale of espionage is no flight of fantasy

By Damon Smith

Based on an outlandish true story, American Made reunites director Doug Liman and leading man Tom Cruise after their successful collaboration on the sci-fi thriller Edge Of Tomorrow.

Cruise plays TWA pilot Barry Seal, who is losing enthusiasm for his job as he tries to provide for his wife Lucy (Sarah Wright) and their children.

He makes a little money on the side by smuggling Cuban cigars into America in his hand luggage. This illegal practice is rumbled by CIA handler Monty Schafer (Domhnall Gleeson), who coerces Barry into working for the US government by flying reconnaissance missions over Central America to take photographs of the emerging communist threat.

Monty slowly applies pressure to Barry to fly more dangerous missions and in turn, the pilot meets members of the high-powered Medellin cocaine cartel including Ochoa Vasquez (Alejandro Edda) and Pablo Escobar (Mauricio Mejia), who employ Barry to fly narcotics back to America. He is rewarded with bags of cash.

The Seals hurriedly move to a new home in backwater Arkansas as a cover for Barry’s CIA operations and enjoy a lavish lifestyle financed by the family man’s exploits. Eventually, Monty and the CIA turn on Barry and the pilot finds himself at the centre of the Iran-Contra incident, which threatens to bring down the Reagan administration.

Three Stars

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