Friday, 26 November 2010

The American: Movie Review

The American: Movie Review

The American
Rating: 8/10
Cast: George Clooney, Violante Placido
Director: Anton Corbijn
With U2 in town it seems a good time to release a film from the band's visual director of their output. (Although I'm sure that's just a coincidence.)
Oh, and it has swooney George Clooney too.
Clooney stars as Jack, an assassin, who's been ordered to lie low in Italy after his cover in Sweden is blown, resulting in a bloodbath.
While there he befriends an elderly priest, falls for a prostitute Clara (Violante Placido) and takes on one last job.
However, the demons of the past are catching up with him...
The American is deceptive.
With a restrained performance from Clooney, it's hard to root for this assassin as we learn very little about him - many shots are of him constructing a gun or merely going about his day to day business while waiting for the storm to blow over.
But it's a good solid turn from Clooney which sees you sucked in very early on.
The film itself is typical Anton Corbijn; beautifully shot (the Italian locations are stunning and mesmerising), there's little action throughout. Yet it's that hypnotic touch and slow burning pace which sees you gripped - right from the initial opening which delivers a sucker punch to your gut right from the get go.
There's tension as you wait for the inevitable explosion as the mistrust, betrayal and fear spills over - but Corbijn masterfully delays all that and confounds your expectation if you're expecting a film chock full of action and explosion.

And that's why it's such a success; it's a gradually building, well acted and restrained drama which has you in its vice like grip as the final moments play out.

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