Movie Review: American Made (2017)

Don’t do drugs, kids. Also, don’t sell drugs. Or be near drugs. Basically just… to hell with drugs.

Disclaimer: I know this thing is based on a true story, but I will not base my review on how perfectly accurate to the real situation it may or may not be, but I will instead judge it as a movie… which it is. Disclaimer over.

Ladies and gents… “American Made”.

The story follows Barry Seal (Tom Cruise), an American pilot who gets hired by the CIA to run guns for them, which eventually also leads him running cocaine for the Medellín cartel. And we follow his insane life as he tries to balance these jobs while also trying to not get arrested. And it’s actually a really interesting plot with some flaw to it. It’s interesting seeing the ins and outs of Barry’s job, the routes he takes as well as how he just runs his operations. It’s overall a really fun and well-paced plot that is really enjoyable. My flaw with the plot is that it does slow down at a point in the movie. Not in the “let’s take some time to develop the characters a lot” (though there’s a little bit of that in there), but more just starts dragging a bit. It’s not too draggy, and it doesn’t go for too long, but it’s definitely worth pointing out as it is quite noticeable.

The characters in this are enjoyable. Some get a bit more development than others, but none of them feel out of place or anything like that. Tom Cruise plays Barry Seal, the pilot who gets dragged into all this crazy shit. He’s a charismatic, funny, and cool guy who not only happens to be a damn good pilot, but also a pretty good family man. And Tom Cruise is really firing on all cylinders here, this is probably the best performance I’ve seen from him since “Tropic Thunder”. Domhnall Gleeson plays Schafer, the CIA agent that recruits Seal for this dangerous mission. He has some charm, and he does share some good chemistry with Cruise throughout. And Gleeson is really good in the role. Then we have Sarah Wright as Barry’s wife Lucy. She’s a somewhat more reasonable person than Barry and does have outbursts when the strange stuff starts seeping into their home life. And Wright is great in the role. Then we have Alejandro Edda, Fredy Yate Escobar, and Mauricio Mejía as the founders of the Medellín cartel (Jorge Ochoa, Carlos Ledher, Pablo Escobar). And I’m lumping them into the same slot because this is my review and I can do whatever I want. But they are all great in their roles… charming yet intimidating. And throughout the movie you get some really solid supporting performances from people like Jesse Plemons, Jayma Mays, Caleb Landry Jones, E. Roger Mitchell, and more. Yeah, this is a well acted movie.

The score for the movie was composed by Christophe Beck and it was really good. It was tense, fun, energized, and had a healthy dose of guitar in it to give it a cool sound that worked really well for the movie. Then there were a whole bunch of licensed tracks used throughout, some from the era, and even one or two from around 2012. But they all fit incredibly well with the era the film was set in while also helping to give the movie it’s fun mood. So yeah, this has great music.

This movie was directed by Doug Liman and he did a great job. He gives this movie and interesting style by keeping it mostly handheld and also throwing in a lot of crash-zooms, which is very reminiscent of a documentary. And that makes this movie even more interesting since it now has a somewhat unique style. Liman (together with the production crew) also gives it a very retro vibe, which really helps sell the late 70s/early 80s era. There are also some really tense scenes here, which I didn’t really expect. The movie is also funny. Not “BWAHAHAHAHAHA!” funny, but it still got consistent chuckles/laughter out of me.

This movie has been pretty well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has an 87% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 65/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,2/10.

“American Made” isn’t perfect, but it’s a highly enjoyable crime movie. It has a good plot, good characters, great performances, great music, and great directing/editing/cinematography. As previously mentioned, I thought it had some slight flaws, including some pacing issues at one point, and some characters not always being the most interesting. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “American Made” is an 8,98/10. While flawed, it’s definitely worth buying!

My review of “American Made” is now completed.

Tumm Croos.

Movie Review: The Bourne Idenity (2002)

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Hello there, my friends to the first in my series of reviews on the “Bourne” movies leading up to “Jason Bourne” this July. I will review one of the movies every month, so for this month (March) it is “Bourne Identity”, for April it’s “Bourne Supremacy”, May is “Bourne Ultimatum” and June is “Bourne Legacy”. All of this will then wrap up in July with the upcoming “Jason Bourne”. Hell, if I’m in a good mood I might just throw in a surprise “Bourne” thing at some point too… But let’s move on to the review that you all came here to read.

Ladies and gentlemen… “The Bourne Identity”.

A mysterious man (Matt Damon) is picked up by a fishing boat in the ocean outside of Marseille, France. Despite having been in the ocean for some time and also haivng bullets in him, he’s still alive and eventually wakes up… with no memory of what the hell happened or who he is. Soon after that he is chased all over Europe by different assassins and authorities while he also tries to find out what happened. But he isn’t doing this alone. With him is a young woman named Marie (Franka Potente) who he somehow dragged into this. The plot isn’t always very clear, sometimes invisible, but when you know what it is and when it really shows itself it is really good. It’s an interesting and different kind of spy story. It’s exciting, interesting and even pretty suspenseful… I kinda love it.

The characters all have a purpose within the story and they are all pretty interesting. Matt Damon is terrific as Jason Bourne, giving a surprisingly nuanced performance that is both vulnerable and totally fuckin’ badass. Franka Potente is great as Marie, playing a scared yet confident woman who has been thrust into this journey with Jason. Chris Cooper plays the character of Alexander Conklin, a man who seems to have some connection to Jason and is basically the one who sends all the assassins after Jason. And I think that he plays that role very well. We also get some great supporting performances from Brian Cox, Clive Owen, Julia Stiles, Walton Goggins and Adewale Akinnouye-Agbaje.

The score for the movie was composed by John Powell and it was good. Not great, but good. I’m not gonna say that it felt out of place for the movie, because it didn’t. I am just saying that the overall style of it feels a little bit dated, but it never really took away from the movie for me because it was overall good and it did work for the movie. It’s very action-y and it’s well composed.

“Bourne Identity” was directed by Doug Liman who you probably know as the director of 2014’s surprisingly good “Edge of Tomorrow”. This was his first action movie and for a first timer I would say that he did a terrific job with the directing. The shots all look great and the action is very well handled. From the fist fights, to the shootouts and to the car chase (yes, there is one of those in this movie). My favorite action scene is probably the bit with The Professor (which I will not spoil here). The people who have seen this film knows which part of the film I am talking about. But for the two of you who haven’t seen the movie, I’m just gonna say that it’s suspenseful, well filmed and pretty badass.

This movie has been well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has an 83% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 68/100. Roger Ebert gave the movie 3/4 stars. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,9/10.

“The Bourne Identity” is an interesting spy-thriller with a really good plot, great acting, a good score, great directing and great action. Time for my final score. *Cough*. My final score for “The Bourne Identity” is a 9,89/10. It gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.
Seal of Approval

My review of “The Bourne Identity” is now completed.

For those of you who have been wondering throughout the review: Yes, I have seen all of these movies before, it’s just that I felt like a series of reviews would be appropriate with the release of the new one later this year.

 

Movie Review: Edge of Tomorrow (2014)

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I don’t know about you, but I fucking love Tom Cruise! The guy is not only a good actor but he also has a lot of respect for moviegoers and action movies. How does he have that you may ask? Well he does his own stunts and really commits to the thing he is doing. Also if you see him at premieres and red carpet stuff you see that the guy loves his fans and enjoys interacting with them. And based on those things I have the utmost respect for the guy. Besides, he has been in some of my favorite movies such as “Collateral” (2004), “Interview with the Vampire” (1994) and “A Few Good Men” (1992). And then I heard he was starring in a sci-fi/action movie directed by Doug Liman who made “The Bourne Identity” (2002) which is another one of my favorite movies. So of course I was a little excited and waited until it came out and couldn’t go because I don’t have a job and therefore don’t make money and can go see every damn movie. But anyways, now that it have come out on DVD/Blu-Ray I could finally sit my butt down and have a look at this new movie.

Ladies and gentlemen…”Edge of Tomorrow”!

This movie is about major William Cage (Tom Cruise) who is sent into war to help fight aliens who want to annihilate us. But he doesn’t want to go to war and is therefore basically forced by General Brigham (Brendan Gleeson) into it and has been demoted. So when he is in battle he manages to kill one of the aliens that, when killed, gives him a sort of super power. And by killing it I mean he blows himself up. But the twist is that when he gets the blood and guts and stuff of the alien into him he is teleported to the day before. So now whenever he dies he automatically turns back time. Now this premise sounds like it might get incredibly repetitive after a while but it surprisingly works. It doesn’t only focus on Cruise being killed all the time (even though that is a central theme of the movie) but it also focuses a lot on him trying to find a way to get rid of this power with the help of the incredibly badass Rita Vrataski (Emily Blunt). So you get to see Cruise relive the same day over and over again as he becomes a more skilled soldier and learns more about this power and how to stop it and the aliens. Now I thought the execution of the story really worked and was surprisingly awesome. The only problem I had with it was a thing (will not spoil it) which felt a little forced and I just didn’t think it worked for the story as it was cheesy and as I said… a little forced. But overall I thought the story was great.

The characters in this movie are (for the most part) very fleshed out. All of them had a purpose and they all served it perfectly. Firstly I think we have to get something clear… Tom Crusie in this movie is not the badass you expected him to be. As a matter of fact he is the exact opposite of that. The character of William Cage is a real coward and that makes him a lot more entertaining and relatable. But as you may expect he turns into more of a badass later on. Next up of the two most important characters is of course Rita. As I said before, she is a real badass! She has a backstory which you get throughout the movie and she overall just worked as a character. All the actors in this movie did a great job here. They all gave really good performances and that was nice to see.

The music, while nothing super special, was good. The original tracks by Christophe Beck were good and they worked well for the movie. And the few licensed tracks they used were also working and never over-shadowed anything. So the music in general was good.

Fun fact: This movie is based on a japanese graphic novel called “All you need is Kill”. Sure the characters are japanese in the graphic novel, but hey, it is fun knowing the story of an American movie is based on what you basically can call a manga. Also I have to touch on the action in this movie… it is pretty damn good. I already knew Doug Liman could do action, hell he did “The Bourne Identity”. But never that you could see it this clearly and just have so much fun with it! Also, some shots in the movie were really cool. I also feel like I have to touch on how funny this movie was… it was hilarious. Not only did it have cool action, good acting/story and great visual effects, but it also made me laugh a bunch of times. Most of them were based on the whole “Dying a lot” thing. Most movies would get it wrong and it would be pretty lame but here it just works and I love when movie can do that!

Now how was this movie received? On Rotten Tomatoes it got a 90% positive rating with a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a 71/100. And finally on imdb.com it got an 8,0/10.

“Edge of Tomorrow” got a great story, great acting, good music, great action, great visual effects, great comedy and just kept me interested the whole time. Sure, there was that one part in the story that bothered me a little since it felt a little forced but that doesn’t take away too much from the movie. Time for the final score. My final score for “Edge of Tomorrow” is a 9,59/10. This movie is great, go pick it up it is totally worth it and I will of course grant it the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”
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“Edge of Tomorrow” is reviewed.

If I would die, would I have to do the review all over again?