The American

The American

2010 | Anton Corbijn

A guy involved with assassination and gun fabrication is being hunted and takes refuge in a small Italien village...

Average rating   6 out of 10

(3.66) Machete | (3.11) Hitman | (2.96) Polar | (2.96) What Happened to Monday | (2.87) Smokin' Aces

Niels Risgaard Hansen     2010-11-07 6 out of 10

I'm sorry, what was the point again?

I am a great fan of George Clooney and a slow poetic film about the solitary life of a hitman/gunsmith seemed right up my alley. My expectations were high before watching this movie - and I was let down. (Luckily I read Peter's review of it before seeing it, and that prepared me a bit)

Please note that this movie is based on a book - A Very Private Gentleman by Martin Booth - which I have not read... yet.

The movie starts out quite dramatic in a very slow pace, which builds up the mood and tension and gets you ready for a nice intriguing web of evil double agents, cloak and dagger events and agile chases through narrow streets. Unfortunately there is really none of this in the movie.
Aha! This is not an action movie! Fair enough. You then start to focus in the drama, the setting of the mood and possibly the message wanted delivered by this film. This helps a bit. The slow pace and dragged out scenes does help on the portrayal of the loneliness and isolation the life of a hitman really is. This is underlined by the priest constantly stalking the main character, trying to get him to confess (and become one of the lost boys?).
Then the women are introduced and, as in many other movies struggling get a point through, all direction is lost. On more than one occasion the movie is about to turn into a melodramatic remake of Pretty Woman. I do get the point, that if you can't save yourself, you might try saving someone else or begin attracted to a femme fatal might kill you, and stuff like that... but come on! Cliche? Enough to break my concentration at least.

All this might have worked, if they have supplied the details of the book. This is probably the same for some of the mix-ups in the timeline. It is hard to get into this without spoiling the plot, but I think the order of the events involving assassination attempts, Jack/Edward wanting to quite the business is messed up and if the excuse is to blame it all on the Swedes, then it is just lame.
I did however enjoy the irony involved with the assassination attempt, but would have liked a lot of more details on how he knew. And after that it is like they just ran out of film roll. The pace suddenly changes and events occur without any build up or explanation and then the movie just ends.

All in all a movie that makes use of interesting tools but leaves out the details and shoots itself to speed up the ending.

I think I will buy the book and hopefully enjoy that a bit more.
Peter Buchardt     2010-11-04 6 out of 10

Guess I had too high hopes for this movie! I liked the first 2/3's or so, it had a nice slow pace, in which the information given had you guessing right and left on why, how and who, but then they started tying things together to make an ending people(read: dumb fucks) would understanding and be happy with... Well the ended up making it barely mediocre.

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