The American

The mark of greatness in an actor labeled as a superstar celebrity is their ability to perform in a role and have the audience forget that they are watching a superstar celebrity.  Jimmy Stewart was good at this, as was Harrison Ford in earlier roles.  Kevin Spacey is probably one of the best at it today.  George Clooney, on the other hand, has had issues with this.  In the late 90s and early 2000s, it was hard to see past the celebrity while watching Batman & Robin or Ocean’s 11.  He has been doing a better job of this given the amount of acting acclaim that he has received over the past 5 years (and Academy Award nominations).

Enter The American…

The American is a character study.  It is not a movie that you would expect to see in a megaplex to close out the summer; rather, it is one that you find at your local arthouse.  With a foreign director and being set in Europe, it is no surprise that it has a foreign film feel to it.  Clooney plays a man good at killing people.  The movie opens with him being hunted.  No explanation is given and none is needed.  The story is not about why he is being hunted; it is about the effects of the choices of his life and his attempts to pull himself out of the depths of hell he has put himself.

This movie is all about the relationships.  Clooney’s shot at redemption with the priest and the hooker; the hunter and the prey; and the environment and Clooney.  All of the cast does well with each role.  There is very little dialog, with half of it being in Italian.  The trailers do not do the movie justice, as they only focus on the action.  The action is completely shown in the trailers — the rest is quiet and slow.

My advice: wait for video — I am glad to have seen the movie, but I am not in any rush to see it again…

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