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Monday, September 19, 2011

The American - Movie Review a George Clooney Film

Is it me or do assassin / hit-man films all seem to have the same story line.   A world-weary,  aging hit man wants out of the business. The mysterious organization he works for turns against him.  The American is pretty much that kind of film.

The American stars George Clooney as the hit man who seems to just want a quiet life and, yes, the organization he has been so loyal to has other plans for their assassin in mind. Seen that before? I'll bet you have.

The plot came to me as no surprise.  The ending, and I'm not giving anything away here, no spoilers, is one I promise you've seen a number of times.  Let's just say, after the final climatic scene, you have no doubt about what is going to happen to Clooney's character.  Even if you don't suspect this ending, you've seen the same, exact finale used before in other films.

Oh yeah, and Clooney's mysterious character does manage to attract a bevy of beautiful women half his age.  Imagine that?

So, I did not like The American?  Actually, all of its cliches aside, it is a pretty taut film.   Clooney is actually great as the weary, done it all before profession.  A similar, albeit darker, role that he played in the 2007 Michael Clayton film, which i loved.  He looks like a million bucks but his terse, quiet character comes off very well.  He's is not a character you love but you don't hate him either.  The film does not go out of the way to make him look like a good-guy. There are no scenes of him become the reluctant hero or "pet-the-dog" scenes that give the audience something to rally around.  I really respected this direction of the film

Another credit to the film is that it is not about Clooney hunting a target. Actually, for much of the film he is hired to make a gun for another assassin, which is more interesting than it sounds.  The creation of the weapon takes all his mechanical skills and assassin-experience, which comes off nicely during some nice, sparse, dialog between him and the assassin the gun will belong to.  This gives the film some originality.

The setting is terrific too.  The majority of the film is set in and around  in a small, rocky, remote Italian village filled many intersecting tiny streets, alleys and wonderfully rustic homes.  The action is sparse but when it happens, this maze-like setting gives some nice tension without all the usual gun fighting and fisticuffs.

I was glad I watched the film.  The plot and ending showed no innovation at all, yet it still came off feeling fresh in many ways.  

I'd suggest checking it out sometime, especially if you are a fan of this genre of film or simply a fan of Clooney.


Rated R

1 hour 45 minutes

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