Starring: Tom Cruise, Sarah Wright, Domhnall Gleeson, Caleb Landry Jones
Director: Doug Liman
Barry Seal (Cruise) was a TWA pilot in the 1980’s, who flew missions for the CIA into South America, and became involved in drug smuggling for the Medellin Cartel. He played a dangerous game of playing to two sides off each other to make money for himself, and lived an incredibly wealthy life, until it all came crashing down around him. This is his story.
Tom Cruise has always done these happy-go-lucky types so well. Characters who have lovable qualities, but are out for fortune and adventure. He’s the heart of this film, the main character, and he does so well to create a sense of a person who we might otherwise not really like.
This film is full of colour, from the 80’s soundtrack and clothes to the greens of the South American landscape, and the little moments of comedy and mixed media style editing. I really liked that about this film. And perhaps it needed this light touch and sense of the life lived large, because there are some dark things about this story, even though this isn’t a dark film.
On the whole, it’s pretty entertaining, and the fact that it’s a true story makes it all the more interesting. I really liked Sarah Wright as Seal’s wife, and her younger brother who heralds the beginning of the end for their living it large is played to slimey perfection by Caleb Landry Jones. Domhnall Gleeson is also really good as the mysterious government operative. It’s a good story with a light touch, though perhaps it sometimes feels lacking in depth.
See It If: you like drug cartel or government conspiracy stories, it’s a great true story told with a bit of colour and humour.