I have always liked George Clooney. He is a big time movie star, but likes to make good films. Not just blockbusters but well made, well crafted pieces of work that show he’s got half a brain. This film is another example of that.
I have always liked George Clooney. He is a big time movie star, but likes to make good films. Not just blockbusters but well made, well crafted pieces of work that show he’s got half a brain. This film is another example of that. It is worth seeing. After what has been a summer of stupid bags of nonsense, that insult your intelligence, The American makes you think. Makes you watch, listen and use the brain that God gave you. Something rare in Hollywood.
This film is about a hit man who is starting to question his profession and maybe wants something more. But wanting to change who you are is difficult when you are a highly trained, emotionless killer. Clooney plays it like he has this sadness and yearning for love but has no idea how to access it. And for the first time he is not in total control of his emotions. But the way this is revealed is in close-ups and silent responses.
Make no mistake this is a foreign film in its story telling. It is slow, methodical and has minimal dialogue. But to me that is what makes it great. It is not about the crime and will he find out who is after him. Rather it focuses on the mind of someone who is supposed to be devoid of emotions like remorse and compassion. The details of the world he operates in is merely a backdrop to show a man in conflict. I like this kind of acting. I want a character with some type of inner pain and conflict. Because I ask myself, “How would I act if I was there.” I’ve seen people who have killed for a living and wondered. Do they sleep at night? Can they love? Or are they machines? Where they born that way or was it trained into them? Has a lifetime of mission execution ironed out the humanity? Regret is a powerful foe that can bring anyone to their knees. It is especially destructive when your job is to focus on the moment and methodically plan while looking over your shoulder for the final bullet.
I can imagine that the adrenaline rush by hunting and being hunted is more addictive than a crack heroin frappachino while playing video games. Clooney has this sprinkled throughout his performance like granola in a Acai bowl. (It’s a Brazilian superfood. Grows only in the Amazon. You’ll love it.) I think this is one of his best roles. If you want crime drama then maybe this isn’t the film for you. But if you want to see an actor bring so much emotion to the screen while saying very little then this is your film. Because it is not easy to A) pull off predator eyes convincingly and B) have pain lurking behind those eyes like a hurt child that doesn’t know how to express themselves yet because they can’t even understand what they are feeling let alone what caused it.
So go see this film and be ready to sit in a quiet theater while watching a methodically paced film and learn. Not big car chases and whodunits just solid acting, directing and story telling. I mean I love a good car chase when it’s done right, but I’d rather see Clooney going all in with the hurt eyes of a tiger who’s guilty over his last kill but hungers none the less. I will PALM STRIKE this as my first Oscar nod. Not that anyone gives a shit about what some jackass road comic thinks. But seriously I’m doing 2 shows a night at the Improv in Vegas this week. Come on in for a great show.