The American advertised itself with the sort of 60s dated posters that were sure to scare away anyone expecting an action flick with the famous George Clooney. Unfortunately, many people will ignore the signs of high art and go anyway with certain expectations that are doomed to disappointment. This film is not your average shoot-em-up action piece with plenty of explosions and hardcore music. In reality, it is more like a novel in film form, which can be a very great thing if that’s what you are looking for.
George Clooney plays Jack, an assassin who has the uncomfortable job of having to kill not only his targets but also anyone who gets too close to him in order to be sure to protect his cover. Needless to say, this gets wearing on his soul and as he tries to deal with the horrible crimes that he’s committed he is also trying to stay alive while assassins try to take him out. Jack meets and befriends a priest who is a foil character to Jack’s evil heart. The film is focused as a look at human nature with action on top.
So how is it?
Those looking for some amazing scenes with Clooney will either get just what they wanted or be left wanting more. The film doesn’t offer very much dialogue, but instead tries to use mood and action to convey ideas. To some audiences this will be infuriating, but to those who appreciate artistic films it will be just what the doctor ordered. The film completely focuses on Clooney but his demeanor doesn’t change very much throughout the film, so viewers may end up wondering if it’s really Clooney in these scenes or just a cardboard cut-out with a scowl on his face. This is not the witty Clooney that many of us are excited to see again, so be prepared. Jack is as cold as cold can be and Clooney plays him well.
As with any artistic-style film, this has the danger of not reaching mass appeal, but for many people it will be a great ride. Jack travels around Europe, giving us spectacular views of some of the most beautiful cities in the world. It makes the travel channel look like they aren’t even trying. If you come into this film with an open mind and open eyes you will end up enjoying it. If not, you will be disappointed by what is not a happy film or an shoot-em-up adventure. Reviewers have given it from a 6-8/10.
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