American Made- 15
Release date- 25.8.17
From the opening, I knew I was going to like this Crime Drama Biopic. There was something a little hipster about its phase from fancy, shiny new age Universal logo to the static one of old. The film geek in me loves a gimmick when it comes to studio logos. (Side note- to this day Ralf hums along to every 20th Fox film. It’s head cannon to me now.) It sets the tone and the setting of the film. Got to love the meta of it; it’s harking back to an era in which the president was a former actor. I have much more insightful things to say about the progression of Hollywood during the Regan era, but now is not the time.
The humour from the get going is quirky, gritty and a refreshing change for a Cruise film. Once or twice I found myself being the only person laughing, or understanding the punch like a beat sooner than the rest of the audience.
The plot is given a clear narration with the same flare as 2015’s The Big Short. It’s narration is what ties the whole thing together.
Okay, I’ll level with you here before I gush at the awesomeness. Cruise and Gleeson meet fairly early and yes, their initial scene would never stand up to that of Deniro and Pacino in Heat when it comes to a sit down; how would it, that was DECADES in the making.
However, Gleeson is once again showing his versatility as the unlikeable ‘CIA’ operative handling Cruise’s pilot Barry Seal.
I know I’m bias as Gleeson is my movie catnip, but I loved his sudo-command over A-list Cruise. It also gives you an insight into Cruise’s character. You know had this been Ethan Hunt the other side of the table, Gleeson’s Monty Shafer would have pissed his pants by the end of the first conversation.
I wasn’t a fan of the shaky cam. It certainly didn’t do the film justice on a Super Screen. I know it was trying to achieve a sense of realism, and aesthetically it makes more sense and you appreciate it more when you get to the final act. Had I watched it on a smaller screen, it might have been okay. However, as it stands, it left me a little dizzy.
I did also find it a little slow in places. Not as slow as other Colombian cartel movies (Yes, I’m looking at you Scarface… You’re long, you’re over rated and I hate you), and while it’s okay for a first watch I don’t think it’s a regular viewing film.
This is not about the film itself, but film etiquette and ultimate audience faux pas that led to me becoming a little bit more aware of the films pace; the couple next to me. (Side note: they shouldn’t have been next to us. I’d used my Cinema Magic skills to combine my Cineworld card and Meerkat movies to get myself and a friend in for free. I’d specified the later showing, but the grumpy twenty-something was too busy making her face express her wish to be outside, so she gave me tickets for the screening before… so a seat hop, or three, we find ourselves beside this couple)
The talked, at length and at volume. Throughout the entire film. I don’t get it?! It was central London; the tickets were £16.50 each (hence what I did being a magic trick). Why bother? From the little bits I did hear, it wasn’t even about the film. During the fight and flight sequences it wasn’t so obvious. However, during the quiet bits it was a little like torture… ergo slow pace makes the film fall a little for me.
People, be proud though, I restrained the inner Scouse and I actually let them chat away. I don’t know if it was because the sound system in a Super Screen was a little louder than normal, or if I’m just realising I gain nothing by allowing myself to be wound up by ignorant people. It really is an ugly side of cinema, but I don’t want it to stop me enjoying my time with friends.