The American: Movie Review
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
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
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