Several reviewers have complained that this movie, which purports to be “based on a true story”, is not an accurate historical presentation of either who Barry Seal was or the events he was involved in. My feeling is that if you’re looking to Hollywood to present an accurate historical document, you’re setting yourself up to be disappointed. Accurate history is not what they do out there. What they’re supposed to be doing is making movies that entertain us for a couple of hours, and lately I think they’ve been failing at that more often than they’ve been succeeding.
In this case, though, they’ve produced a highly entertaining movie without the need for either scene after scene of unbelievable (and impossible) “action” sequences a la the MI movies or the Fast & Furious series, or the endless blood lettings of Tarantino and his imitators. While I suspect the storyline bears virtually no resemblance to what actually happened, who cares? This isn’t a documentary. It isn’t even a docudrama. What it is, though, is a really entertaining way to spend a couple of hours. Tom Cruise heads an excellent cast who all turn in great performances.
If you really want to know the truth about what happened regarding either the Sandanistas, the Medellin Cartel, Iran/Contra, or Barry Seal, you’re going to have to do some serious research, particularly given the fact that you can’t truly believe anything you hear from our media these days. You won’t find it by watching this flick. On the other hand, if you want to be thoroughly entertained by a movie that is both interesting and, at times, funny as well, I recommend this one highly.