Skip to main content

Not Just a Cheap Movie About a Good-looking Killer

Movie Review: The American (2010)
Spoilers: none


George Clooney is Jack/Edward, a mercenary and expert gun craftsman in The American. More than competently directed by Anton Corbijn, we have the story of an American mercenary posing as a photographer and hiding out in the mountains as he awaits his last assignment.

When his assignment from the completed job in Sweden brings him some unexpected heat, causing him to kill a lover and flee to a small town in Italy, he meets Father Benedetto (Paolo Bonacelli) and a woman who works as a prostitute, Clara (Violante Placido), both of whom play a part in Edward's desire to leave his life of violence behind.

Beautiful scenes of an Italian city and countryside are the backdrop to this at first somewhat slow, but never-dragging film. Some extensive and provocative female nudity may put off some, but will be a sheer enticement to others.

The blending of the culture in the locality and the stand-alone charisma of Clooney with woodsman looks and James Bond-in-Reverse qualities captures the viewer's attention and doesn't let go. The film's gripping attention to detail and stop-at-nothing character development show the growing paranoia and progressively worsening effects of watchfully living in fear.

We never get to know hardly anything about Edward's employers or the mysterious man named “Pavel” he takes orders from so unquestioningly—or whether or not their organization is a mob or a crime syndicate. This manages to add yet more to the engrossing nature of the plot.

The developing relationship of Edward and Clara does introduce a romantic element that at first seems forced to work – with not every curve of the plot qualifying as novel on the way – but every character and relationship herein is a work polished to a shine.



Grade: A- (4 stars) Recommended!
Rated: R (for violence, bloodshed, and female nudity)
Director: Anton Corbijn
Summary: An assassin hides out in Italy for one last assignment and meets several people.
Starring: George Clooney "Jack / Edward," Irina Björklund "Ingrid," Lars Hjelm "Hunter #1," Johan Leysen "Pavel," Paolo Bonacelli "Father Benedetto," Thekla Reuten "Mathilde," Violante Placido "Clara"
Genre: Drama / Thriller


Popular posts from this blog

When Jesus Turns Down the Glory: 10 Worst Ever Christian Songs

It’s a sad testimony when even the creator of a thing realizes that the product isn’t what it was intended to be. Well, actually it’s a good thing. It just doesn’t happen often enough. The Christian music industry is, shall we say, not up to par with where its admirers (and even creators and ardent well-wishers) would hope it would be. And when even the average believer realizes that their music is not market-cornering stuff, all should know that there is a problem.

Now not all Christian music sucks (you might even find a few rock songs from artists like Petra on Joe Holman’s ipod that he still sometimes listens to and enjoys), but what makes the stuff that does suck suck is that what sucks sucks for a number of different reasons. We begin the countdown going from best of the worst to absolute worst...

The Top 5 Most Powerful Beings in Sci-fi (Part I of II)

It’s a subject that is rarely tackled in any form outside of random questions on a message board, but here we will devote a sensible examination of it. Who – what – is the most powerful being anywhere in every realm of sci-fi or fantasy ever dreamt up by a finite human being? I’ve been contemplating this subject since I was 8 years old. At 39, it hasn’t left my mind. That means several things; (1) I’m a fucking geek. (2) I’ve invested enough of my life pondering this for it to qualify as an obsession.

As with all “Most” anything lists, we are faced with several problems, one of them being limited source material. A couple of these only made one or two brief appearances somewhere and that is all we have to go by. But sometimes, those situations let our imaginations go into overdrive and give us even more creative fun. The mystery tends to add to the experience of contemplation.

The Top 5 Most Powerful Beings in Sci-fi (Part II of II)

#1) The Douwds – From Star Trek The Next Generation

Claim to fame: This Douwd went from pacifist to mass murderer of 50 billion in a single moment of anger. He appears to hold the record for most murders in all of sci-fi.
Abilities: Just about unlimited.
Nature: True immortals.

Our winner, debatably edging out number #2, is a mysterious race of beings called the Douwds. We only get to meet one of their kind in a single episode (#51, season 3 - see the condensed version here) called “The Survivors.” It was one of the very best of any season. What little we know of this illusive race “of disguises and false surroundings” only adds to our fascination with them.

When the Enterprise gets an urgent distress call from a federation colony on Delta Rana IV about an attacking alien warship, they head over as fast as they can, but they are days away. By the time they arrive, it is too late. All are dead and the planet has been literally leveled…with the sole exception of one house and the small pa…