The American (2010) – Review

1 1/2 Stars


After an explosive opening in which Jack / Edward, George Clooney, is interrupted from his James Bond style getaway in a remote cabin in Switzerland with a lovely lady by a couple of hit men, The American grinds to a halt and becomes about as incomprehensible as this run on sentence.

The only breakout moment in this film is when Clooney’s character shoots his lady friend in the back and leaves her dead body with that of the hit man. You’d think this was setting up a masterful dark action film, when in fact Clooney will do little more than build a gun for a fellow assassin (which takes up the majority of the film’s running time), walk around the streets of small town Italy, and chase a man barefoot, all while being noted by the townspeople as “the American”.

There is nothing here that connects us with any of the characters. All the women Clooney comes across want him, and for no apparent reason, as he fails to wine or dine anyone confidently. Shared moments between actors leave a lot to be desired in the chemistry department. When Jack finally decides to part ways with his evil life, opting instead for the girl, it’s fairly obvious how it will end. And this movie definitely delivers on the obligatory assassin turned good ending. Of course it doesn’t show the complete outcome, the camera pans up just before the credits role. Believe me, no one is wondering what happened to this character, we’re all just glad something finally happened at all.

Don’t bother with this unless you run out of Ambien and need a replacement.

Director: Anton Corbijn
Stars: George Clooney, Violante Placido, Thekla Reuten

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