Archive for the ‘Doug Liman’ Category

The Medellin Shuffle

American Made

Director: Doug Liman

Cast: Tom Cruise, Sarah Wright, Domhnall Gleeson, Caleb Landry Jones, Jesse Plemons, Jayma Marks, Lola Kirke, Alejandro Edda, Benito Martinez

Fair Game, Edge of Tomorrow and Mr & Mrs Smith director Doug Liman reunites with his Edge of Tomorrow blockbuster star Tom Cruise (Top Gun, A Few Good Men, The Last Samurai) in American Made giving Oscar nominee Tom Cruise (Jerry Maguire, Magnolia) an opportunity to act out of his franchise restricted roles in Mission Impossible and Jack Reacher movies.

Cruise’s boyish charm and cheeky bravado is put on full display in American Made when he plays TWA pilot Barry Seal who after initially smuggling banned Cuban cigars into the US, gets recruited by a brash CIA agent Monty Schafer played by Domhnall Gleeson who asks him to run reconnaissance missions in Central America mainly in Nicaragua, Honduras and then further down to drug riddled Colombia.

Soon Barry gets caught up with the Medellin drug cartel in Colombia working for a gang of swarthy and ruthless Latino’s including Pablo Escobar and is flying drug running missions from Medellin back to America.

In the meantime, because of the associated risks involved, Barry hastily moves his wife Lucy played by Sarah Wright and children from Baton Rouge, Louisiana to Mena, Arkansas.

In the quiet town of Mena, Arkansas with funding from both the CIA who want Barry to spy on the drug cartels and with exorbitant amounts of cash the Medellin cartel are paying him, the town starts booming financially until things go horribly wrong specifically when Lucy’s redneck brother JB wonderfully played by Caleb Landry Jones gets arrested by Sheriff Downing played by Jesse Plemons (Black Mass).

Mozart in the Jungle star Lola Kirke (Mistress America, Gone Girl) has a brief appearance as the suspicious Sheriff’s wife Judy Downing.

The unmanageability of Barry’s life rapidly begins to spiral out of control when he is accosted by drug enforcement agencies as well as trying to appease the brutal Medellin control in between being caught up in all sorts of international Reagan era political intrigue involving American backed rebels fighting the Communist Sandinista’s in Nicaragua. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nicaragua

Tom Cruise gives one of his best onscreen performance in a convoluted film sufficiently directed by Doug Liman while the script does not give sufficient screen time to the supporting actors of whom Caleb Landry Jones (Contraband) stands out as the reckless brother-in-law who inadvertently draws attention to the Mena Medellin drug run shuffle. The best line in the film is “I am the Gringo that delivers stuff”.

If audiences enjoyed films like Kill the Messenger, then American Made is similar viewing held together by Cruise’s flying bravado which first captivated audiences in the hit film Top Gun.

American Made gets a film rating of 7.5 out of 10 while the flashback structure of the narrative is cleverly crafted in a palatable cinematic style, so that the film’s ending is shocking but not unexpected. Recommended viewing.

Additional Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Medell%C3%ADn_Cartel

 

Film Directors & Festivals
Reviews and Awards
Review Calender
July 2018
M T W T F S S
« Jun    
 1
2345678
9101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
3031  
  • Durban FilmMart Celebrates Women as Industry Still Struggles With Transformation
    DURBAN  — As the Durban Film Fest and its parallel industry program, the Durban FilmMart (DFM), unspooled this weekend in South Africa, a focus on issues facing women in the industry has dominated the program. “DFM is unapologetic about putting women on the agenda,” said producer Zoe Ramushu, who moderated a round table on transformation […]
    John Hopewell
  • SAG-AFTRA Board Approves Deals on Non-Primetime TV, Telemundo
    The SAG-AFTRA National Board has approved a tentative three-year agreement covering non-primetime work with the four major television networks. The board, which met Saturday, also approved a first-ever agreement with Telemundo Television Studios covering Spanish-language television performers. The non-primetime deal with the networks includes language limiting auditions in hotel rooms and private residences. Those limits […]
    Dave McNary
  • Sara Blecher’s ‘Mayfair’ Brings Feminine Gaze to Gangster Tale
    DURBAN — When we’re first introduced to computer whiz Zaid (Ronak Patani) in the opening scene of Sara Blecher’s “Mayfair,” he’s playing Robin Hood in an east African refugee camp—distributing sacks of food that have been left to rot in an aid group’s warehouse. That charitable impulse gets him canned, the first sign that an […]
    John Hopewell
  • African Finance Under Spotlight at Durban FilmMart  
    DURBAN — Financing African films has always required equal parts imagination and hustle, and as the global movie industry weathers its own seismic upheaval from new financing and distribution challenges, filmmakers on the continent are learning to adapt on the fly. That was the takeaway of a Durban FilmMart panel July 21, where Dayo Ogunyemi, […]
    John Hopewell
  • ‘Insecure’ Season 3 to Introduce New ‘Timely’ Show Within The Show
    After two years of making mistakes, best friends Issa (Issa Rae) and Molly (Yvonne Orji) will finally learn from their pasts in the new season of “Insecure.” Prentice Penny, who serves as executive producer and showrunner of the HBO series, reveals that the upcoming episodes will explore what it means to be an adult and […]
    Ariana Brockington