Movie Review: The American (George Clooney, Thekla Reuten, Violante Placido) 2010

Posted: December 4, 2011 in Drama
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the american

A ruthless assassin named Jack or Edward (depending who he’s talking to) is being tracked for assassination himself by the Swedes.  Edward’s been assigned by his boss Pavel ( John Leyson)  to build a gun for a fellow assassin named Mathide (Thekla Reuten)   Heeding Pavel’s advice to stay anonymous  in the small Italian town, Edward starts a physical relationship with a prostitute named Clara, (Violante Placido) but Edward realizes that he might be falling for Edward.  While collecting scrap metal to build a silencer to exact specifications, Edward meets a priest, who has his own secrets to hide. Just before delivering the gun to Mathide, Edward finds a gun in Carla’s purse.   So, who is gunning for Edward?  And will he find him or her, before the killer finds him?

This is a dreadful movie.  The plot is so utterly convoluted, that none of the basic questions are answered, who does Edward/Jack work for?  Who is paying Jack wads of money to kill people?  Why are Swedes trying to kill him?  Are Swedes the most menacing people on the planet?  I don’t think so.  What this movie needs is some exposition in the worst way.  The plot resolution is hard to understand, because the viewer can’t comprehend why the killer is doing what he/she is doing. The characters are clichés, Clooney as a long time assassin who can kill in cold blood at the drop of a hat, but is starting to feel remorse.  The hooker with a heart of gold? Why must Hollywood continue to cast these movies with prostitutes in leading roles?  The Catholic priest guilty of sin?  Gee that’s not much of a cliché is it? Clooney has his usual laconic look on his face, for this movie he adds a glower, but it’s still not acting.  He delivers his lines with the same uninterested deadpan that all his roles feature.  Violante  Placido is a very beautiful woman, beautiful enough for this and many other movies, she acts better than Clooney too, but three nude scenes is excessive, and none of the scenes are integral to the plot in any way.  The pacing in this movie is painfully slow, the plot builds and builds to a stunningly bland conclusion.  It is the Bourne Identity all right, but a geriatric version of the Bourne Identity.

The American.  Ugly American.

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