Sunday, January 30, 2011

Movie Review: The American

Jack (George Clooney) is an assassin. After successfully completing a difficult job, which leaves emotional scars, Jack announces his retirement from the game. While waiting for the final assignment, he hides out in a small Italian town where he befriends a local priest and prostitute. 

The American is a very slow movie. With the exception of a few action sequences, the feature film walks a slow pace through 105 minutes. Although, I have to tell you, this isn't necessarily a bad thing.

What I like about The American is its appreciation for the different sites and sounds. From the careful production of a sniper rifle to a quiet stroll through the old town, the audience received an opportunity to bask in the moment. 

Imagine sitting by a creek and listening to the water gently flow over rocks. Feel the warmth of the sun kiss your cheeks as you watch the trees and grass dance with the breeze. Experience the calmness of the moment. Embrace it. 

Now, throw in the feeling of uneasiness, tension, and danger. That very contrast of tranquility and anxiety mixed with a hint of melancholy is what makes this movie work.

While the story could have been told in much less time, I simply enjoyed the experience. I loved how Jack paid attention to details. His meticulous and careful nature played out in everything that he did and I reveled in it. If only I could be more like that.

While the film is no National Geographic competitor, the director did a great job of showcasing some of Italy's hidden treasures. My favorite eye candy involves the hills, creek, and town made out of stone. 

Another quiet favorite of mine is Violante Placido, who plays Clara, the prostitute. Beautiful with sexiness radiating from the first moment we see her, she is definitely someone to watch. 

The American is a good movie. I enjoyed it more for its slow pace and meticulous leading man than I did for its story about an assassin trying to finish a job. 

Trust me, there are plenty moments of tension that help make this movie a true thriller. Although, don't expect this movie to feel like a Bourne Identity or 007 flick because it won't. However, if you have the patience to sit back and enjoy the ride, I think you will be pleased.    


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Damond L. Nollan, M.B.A.

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