The American

        The American stars Geroge Clooney as “jack” and is directed by Anton Corbijn. Many may not recognize Anton’s name and that is because he has little history as a director. It seems he has done some work in the music industry with the likes of Metallica and U2. The movie is also based on a novel by Martin Booth called “A very Private Gentleman”.

        The story takes us along with “Jack”, an assasin who has a job go horribly wrong in Sweden and we quickly learn why he is considered much of a loner. He then travels to a small town in Italy where he is commissioned to construct a special weapon for a female contact. Naturally things get worse and growing tired of running and unable to forge relationships, tells his boss that this will be his last job. This is not for a lack of effort as Jack tries to form a relationship with a priest and a few woman in the small town. Problem is he can’t seem to trust anyone, and with the heat right around the corner, it becomes a matter of whether he will survive.

         This movie is terribly on the slow side. Only a couple of minutes in and the audience is laughing to let loose the tension from still shots that lasted a good twenty seconds each. To our delight this pretty much continues through the next hour and a half that most agreed, we would like to have back. The story simply was not complex enough to be fit for a cinema screen. There was plenty of texting, yawning and checking of watches throughout this ordeal. To make matters worse, Jack was being tracked down by some enemies, some very lame enemies. At one point, Jack is followed and shot at by a man who had been tailing him. As soon as Jack retaliated, this undercover assassin fled like there was a bug in his food. Way to run away like a scaredy cat. The mysterious tone this movie tried to set simply did not sit well.

        On one positive note, I would suggest and perhaps hope to see some sort of action movie from Anton. Where and when the movie did grab our attention, were scenes involving Jack’s task. That task was to build a special gun that could fit inside of a briefcase. The scenes involving this gun were when this movie popped. There was certain mystique and confidence when Jack would handle this weapon. The movie would seem to move faster and the audience would become more involved. We seemed to see a more complex side of certain characters when this gun was involved. It would have been a good idea to build on these scenes and perhaps takes us a little further, but to no avail.

        Unfortunately not all movies can be winners, but I’m sure the ladies will get a kick out of seeing Clooney’s naked butt for a few minutes. That’s if they can stay awake long enough to see it.  Simply put, there just seems to be a lot of filler in order to make this movie long enough to pass for a full length feature. I don’t suggest paying a theatre amount to see this but if you must, i suppose you’re allowed to rent it down the road. Not one of Clooney’s best but we’ll give him a pass because he’s George Clooney. 


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  1. First of all, although Anton Corbijn is a well-known music video director, he also directed a very well-known film in 2007 called Control, which is fantastic. I felt that this movie was exquisite. It certainly wasn’t the action movie that it was advertised, but I was pleasantly surprised that it was a complex drama-thriller with deep-rooted psychological elements. Clooney actually has the opportunity to be serious, nearly a first, with the exception of Soderbergh’s Solaris, and he actually shows character depth, which is incredibly rare for him as an actor. It may have seemed slow-paced, but I feel that was because the subtelty of the direction and cinematography carried the movie. It had a beautiful score, and it was very cleverly written. Very few films these days have this level of cinematic quality, and in my opinion, it was far better than just an action movie ever could have been. This film was a masterpiece, a work of art, which especially a music video director usually aims to create, not necessarily blockbusters with global appeal.

  2. I appreciate your comments, everyone has a different opinion. Unfortunately every movie wants to be liked on a global level and the reaction I got from the theatre was not one that falls in with your comments. I try to speak not only for myself but for the majority. Still, I’m not bashing you. Like I said, everyone has different opinions and looks for different things. I simply don’t always believe different is better.

  3. I certainly agree that everyone has a different opinion, and I am not one to say that any opinion is wrong, as that simply could never be true. I just really enjoyed this movie, and it seems like everywhere I look, here, Film, Flixster, and IMDB, so many people are trashing this film. The late and great Rowan Joffe wrote the script, and I have always really liked Anton Corbijn (I own all of the Directors sets of the music video directors, including the one with him, Mark Romanek, Spike Jones, etc.) I just wanted to make sure that someone spoke up on their behalf instead of against them somewhere!! :) Not trying to offend anyone or bash them at all, I promise! :)

  4. I see where your coming from, and hey I’m open to all comments. Keep doing so, there is nothing wrong with a little debate, you made some very good and valid points. I would actually like to hear more from you in the future.

  5. Thank you very much, TylerB. :) I look forward to hearing more from you as well. You also made some very valid points. And I very much enjoy a good, intellectual debate. :)

  6. You both have sound arguments, but I have to side with Tyler on this one. The movie was not good, and though I love Spike Jonze and Mark Romanek, but the point is that Corbijn just isn’t at their level of ability.

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