Wednesday, August 27, 2014
Andrew's Cinematic Adventures: 'The American' Movie Review
I am not entirely sure what pushed me to watch this movie. It had been sitting on my Netflix queue for awhile now, and I think I accidentally pushed play or something...but was too lazy to find anything else. Regardless, I was pleasantly surprised with this film.
The movie essentially follows George Clooney's character Jack/Edward...or something. He's called a lot of things. Jack is an assassin who had been hiding out in Sweden, where he was tracked down and forced to relocate for one last job in Italy. It's a remarkable film that really grasps the feel of what village life would be like in Italy. That's what kept me most interested in the film. I love it when a film can grasp a certain aspect of a culture, or lifestyle (especially one I'm not used to) and really push it through the screen, helping the viewer feel like they are actually there. 'The Amercian' does this flawlessly.
Also, if you've ever wondered what it would be like to be an assassin on the run, while simultaneously not being able to have any close friends or family, and at the same time second guessing your career choices....well I guess you could say George Clooney really shows what THAT would be like. If you were wondering.
This is not an action flick. You can't go into it expecting Jason Bourne or Jack Bauer. This is entirely a character-study of a fed-up assassin who can't trust anybody, including the person he relies on the most (his boss). It's a slow movie, with very little dialogue (a lot of the dialogue is actually in Italian, with subtitles). Still, the way it is filmed is fascinating and George Clooney nails the role of the bitter assassin better than most could. I don't think this movie would've worked with anyone else in the lead role.
It's also definitely a change of pace for George Clooney. From what I've seen of him, he's mostly in light-hearted roles, banking on his charm and general gorgeousness to sell a character. In The American, he plays a much darker, less smiley version of himself. But for some reason, the Italian ladies still love him. He has a love interest throughout the movie (a prostitute), who quickly falls for his mysteriousness and overall lack of cheer. Not gonna lie, I somehow found myself falling for it also....Clooney really is a silver fox.
But like I said, it's a very different George Clooney. I watched it expecting this Clooney:
And was greeted with a lot of this Clooney:
Really. I don't think he smiled once during this movie.
Overall, I enjoyed the movie. I honestly could see myself adding it to my movie collection. I wouldn't recommend it if you're looking for an action movie. It's not one. Lots of guns in the movie...but the guns aren't used very often. Buttttt....if you're looking for a thought-provoking character study...or just want to look at George Clooney a lot....watch "The American." It's a fascinating film and accomplishes exactly what the movie set out to accomplish...which doesn't happen very often.