Thursday, September 29, 2011

The American

If I'm going to be held in suspense, I'd like to know at some point what I'm in suspense for.  And if there's a movie about hired killers, I'd rather the story fit in the context of larger issues (international struggles, conflicts between powerful but corrupt businessmen, revenge), not some internecine squabbles among the killers themselves.  Sadly, The American, with its meticulous, plodding exposition, delivers the latter.
Jack/Edward's client checking out his handiwork.
This movie was pretty cool in its timelessness.  It seemed like it could have been made decades ago.  Most of the movie is set in a tiny, remote Italian village, which looks like it could have been unchanged for centuries.  Jack, or Edward, depending who he's talking to, makes specialty weapons for assassins, and tells his handler this is his last job.  He doesn't know how true that is.  A bit of romance with a local prostitute, a bit of soul searching with the local priest he befriends, and a bit of suspense as we wonder who the target is makes for a decent, but not great movie.

Bottom line, 2 stars.

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