Friday, October 29, 2010

Movie Review: The American "A Must Not Watch"

The American

This is a Gun and Two People in the Movie
So everyone hates Hollywood as much as I do right?  RIGHT?  I thought so.  And, apparently, so does  Director Anton Corbijn, but he's Dutch so...  Well, anyway, so he directed writer Rowan Joffe's The American.  He really really REALLY tried to make it minimalist, existensialist and super cool, right?  Yeah, so if I'm reviewing it, you know he failed.  I only review what I think are failed movies.  I'm kidding.  I'm sure I've given good reviews of something, somewhere.  I can't remember.  But this is not one of those, "oh my gosh, what a great movie" reviews.

So, Academy Award winner George Clooney stars in the title role of the American. He plays the role of Jack, a lone assassin. After a gruesom job in Sweden ends, he hidey holes in the a small medieval Italian countryside. Against his better judgement and wishes, he takes on an assignment to construct a weapon for a sexy yet cold contact, Mathilde (Thekla Reuten). To add another layer of suspense to the already "suspenseful" plot ,in the mountains of Abruzzo, Jack becomes the object of friendship of a local priest Father Benedetto (Paolo Bonacelli). To add even more layers to the already convoluted onion wrap, he gets embroiled in a torrid liaison with a "lady", Clara (Violante Placido). Jack and Clara's escapades turn into a somewhat nebulous romance, however it does offer an out from his current "profession".

Director: Anton Corbijn
Writer: Rowan Joffe
George Clooney - Jack
Paolo Bonacelli - Father Benedetto
Thekla Reuten - Mathilde
Violante Placido - Clara
Irina Bjorklund - Ingrid
Johan Leysen - Pavel

So where does it fail?  The entire movie you have NO idea what is going on, who's on the screen, and why do you care.  It's as if they cast George Clooney so the audience would just feel like, "oh this must be a great, I don't understand a damn thing, but it must be great".  Basic storytelling dictates that you at least tell your listener / viewer who you're talking about.  This movie never tells you who the characters are.

Father Benedetto who's Crucial to the Plot Somehow
While the settings are beautiful and the acting superb, there's just no movie here.  Who can watch a movie where they have no idea what the story is.  You don' t know who any single character is in the whole thing, nor what their motivation is.  Trust me, I don't like being spoon fed a story, but at least I'd like to know why the main character is going to be murdered.

Why so many inconsequential subplots?  The entire cast is all of just 5 people.  Outside of the main character, in the end, after remembering the movie, you suddenly realize that half the subplots were meaningless to the story and had absolutely no closure.

This is a: Must Not Watch.

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