The American review
Number 1, but did the audience understand it?
I was surprised to hear The American was the number 1 movie this Labor Day weekend. I saw it this weekend in a crowded movie theater, which was full of people who expected to see an action thriller. What they got instead was a slow paced, low volume, character study. I may be in the minority, but I loved it.
Judging from the trailers and TV commercials, you would think The American was a non-stop action packed thrill ride. It’s far from it and the most blatant false advertising for a movie in years. The director, Anton Corbijn, got his start making stylish music videos and from watching this film you can see he is more about style rather than substance. If the movie didn’t star George Clooney, you would think you were watching European art-house film from the 1970′s.
Speaking of George, he gives a strong performance as an assassin, paranoid and on the run looking for a way out. There is no Clooney charm to be found here. Dragging a lot of personal baggage on his travels, he hides out in the mountains of Italy. He starts a relationship with a local prostitute named Clara, played by beauty Violante Placido who truly steals the film in every scene she is in.
American audiences went to see it, but they didn’t quite understand it. Many were saying after the film, ‘That’s it?’ Not me however, I feel this was one of the best films I’ve seen all year. I said film, not movie. Big difference.
I give The American **** out of ****.