The American

The American is the one movie which might make even a hardcore George Clooney fan doubt his mania for a while – because George Clooney not only stars as lead, but also produces this maddeningly dull movie. So you cant blame anyone else for making Clooney look bad – he did this to himself.

The movie is about an American hitman who is on the run from some enemies (identified only as “the Swedes”) and is also looking to retire. When his remote Swedish countryside hideout is busted, he flees to Italy and looks up an old friend/boss, who arranges for him to lay low in a small hilly town of Castel del Monte. In exchange for that, he has to make a custom-made rifle for another assassin to use. However he meets some interesting people in that small Italian town and gets involved with them without wanting to.

The plot is quite common – In Bruges is a movie with a pretty similar subject. But while In Bruges was enormously entertaining, The American is like a version of it with all the quirkiness and humour stripped out. This movie has no comic relief and the only scene where the heroine drops her clothes has been chopped off by the censors !!

The reason why most of you would loathe this movie is its dryness. It is extremely slow paced and agonizingly dull without any color or vivacity. The dialogues in the movie are minimal and quite a bit of the footage is just of Clooney going about town – walking, drinking coffee etc. We are forced to watch the same footage of Clooney driving from Castel del Monte to a nearby town to make phonecalls multiple times – without any sound of the car engine or brakes or anything else – just silence. There are similar other shots of many such activities – where the natural sound has been completely filtered out for unnatural silence

It seems like a desperate attempt to be stylish. But it falls flat on its face

The other big failing of the movie is the complete lack of explanations – like who was after Clooney and why? Or what was his relation with the guy on the phone? Or what made him choose the Italian girl while rejecting the Swedish one ? It is quite ok for a movie to leave some questions unanswered. But to not answer any question at all was highly unsatisfying. You can conjecture, but you would never know for sure.

All in all, a complete avoid for everyone, movie enthusiasts included. Don’t quite understand what got it the 6.8 rating on IMDB

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