Thursday, 31 August 2017


Starring Tom Cruise, Sarah Wright and Domhnall Gleeson. Written by Gary Spinelli. Directed by Doug Liman. Budget $ million. Running time 117 minutes.

The rise and fall of an infamous drug and gun runner and based on the true story of Barry Seal (Tom Cruise) who during the 1970s and 80s flew drugs, guns and sensitive information in and out of South American to the Medellin Cartel, the Contras and General Noriega supposedly for the C.I.A., and the White House, all the while struggling to evade the FBI, the DEA and other law enforcement agencies. But as his success and wealth grow, Barry's life slowly starts to unravel endangering all those around him, including his friends and family.

Superbly directed by Doug Liman, and very well acted by an always reliable Tom Cruise, this is an enjoyable and exciting movie which leaves a bitter taste, glorifying as it does a drug smuggler. Cruise is on excellent form and for a change doesn't do any running at all in this film, letting his own skill as a pilot dictate the action. His portrayal of Barry Seal is impressive as we actually come to like this family loving rogue who, at the end of the day, is just a man exploited by his own government and the drug cartels, of course he doesn't help his own cause by being such a greedy bastard. Anyway, there's a hell of a lot of enjoyment to be had from this tale, all helped by Cruise's easy charm. And this is a Cruise film, he's in practically every single scene and he carries it well, although this does also mean that we're left aching to know more about what's happening behind the scenes. The C.I.A's involvement for example, particularly when it takes over Barry's hometown of Mena to build a training camp of the Contras, that's a fascinating snippet but left unsatisfyingly explored, mainly because this film is all about Barry, right down to his self recorded video diary which punctuates the action.

Featuring a great soundtrack and cast. This is a satisfying and very enjoyable film, which frustratingly never really digs any deeper than just the man.


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