Today, September 29, 2017, the new Tom Cruise movie ‘American Made‘ by Universal Pictures is being released to U.S. theaters and all Americans should go see it. Besides hitting on all cylinders, this movie explains what led up to the Iran-Contra Affair. And though it profiles a very serious subject in a somewhat jovial manner, it will help average Americans who generally have near-zero interest in our government understand how some of it operates. It also shows what a farce the failed War on Drugs had become in the 1980s and continues today. The movie does not get into the main character’s involvement with the Clinton Whitewater scandal, though that would have been another interesting segment. Nor does the film get into how Bill Clinton’s brother, Roger, was netted in a cocaine distribution scheme.
‘American Made’ is first and foremost, an excellent movie. The comedic timing is perfect, the writing by Gary Spinelli is excellent, and the way the entire movie flows is very well done. This is a rare movie, that gets my highest rating. And the bonus is that viewers will get an education as to how some of our federal government runs — with one branch not knowing what the other is doing. This happens more often than people realize for example while the DEA strongly advocates that marijuana has no redeeming value, the federal government also holds a patent espousing its health benefits. Additionally, the federal government is also willing to act as the ultimate hypocrite no matter which political party is in power — Democrat or Republican.
Cruise reunites with his Edge of Tomorrow director, Doug Liman (The Bourne Identity, Mr. and Mrs. Smith), in this international escapade based on the outrageous (and real) exploits of Barry Seal, a hustler and pilot unexpectedly recruited by the CIA to run one of the biggest covert operations in U.S. history. Cruise depicts Barry Seal perfectly in the film.
Seal is a talented and bored commercial airline pilot who gets an adrenaline rush from the small-time smuggling of Cuban cigars into the United States in his flight bag. This gets the attention of the CIA which recruits Seal for some reconnaissance work with a plane provided for him. As part of his covert CIA work, Seal finds himself in Central and South America often which eventually leads him to moonlight as a drug smuggler for what would become known as the Medellin Cartel. The federal government not only looks the other way, but rewards Seal by giving him his own airport and thousands of acres in Mena, Arkansas.
Seal eventually recruits other talented pilots and buys more plans to smuggle massive amounts of drugs into the United States while the CIA continues to look the other way. This is because the CIA is training “freedom fighters” at Seal’s airport which Seal illegally brings into the U.S. for training.
Seal is also bringing in massive amounts of cash which becomes a serious problem. He doesn’t know where to keep it all and finds it too hard to launder through front businesses and banks. He stashes cash in banks in Arkansas, the Caymans, Panama and his backyard.
Some say Seal died from a Columbian drug smuggling contract hit while others think he was about to blow the lid off the Clinton Whitewater scandal so he was added to the Clinton “Body Count” and some say George Bush’s CIA had him offed. No matter what you believe to be true, Seal was dealing with so many high-risk ventures, it was just a matter of time before he met his end. In some ways, it is surprising he made it to his 46th birthday. Although the movie does a quick and pivotal scene whereas Governor Bill Clinton has Barry Seal walk after being arrested, it does not get into why Seal had George Bush’s private telephone number on him when Seal was found dead. Nor does it get into the fact that Seal had round the clock protection from private bodyguards he had hired, though, on the day of his death, they were nowhere to be found.
Perhaps the best book on Barry Seal’s exploits is found in Daniel Hopsicker’s book ‘Barry & the Boys.’
‘American Made’ co-stars Domhnall Gleeson, Sarah Wright, E. Roger Mitchell, Jesse Plemons, Lola Kirke, Alejandro Edda, Benito Martinez, Caleb Landry Jones and Jayma Mays.
The estimated budget for ‘American Made’ is around $80 million and has already grossed over $58 million as it has already been seen in several other countries before coming here to America. Like many of Cruise’s movies, this one will be a serious money-maker. The movie was filmed in Georgia, Louisiana, and Columbia.
The film is produced by Imagine Entertainment’s Academy Award®-winning producer Brian Grazer (A Beautiful Mind), Cross Creek Pictures’ Brian Oliver (Black Swan) and Tyler Thompson (Everest), Quadrant Pictures’ Doug Davison (The Departed), and Kim Roth (Inside Man). Gary Spinelli wrote the screenplay.