The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Movie Review-The American

By Joshua Knopp/entertainment editor

For most movies, entertainment comes first, but The American is just the opposite.

The stage for this film is set when Jack (George Clooney), a man of an unspecified violent profession, is tracked down on a job by Swedish black ops and goes into hiding in Castel Del Monte in Italy.

While there, Jack is assigned one last job, which he performs while pursuing the friendship of a priest (Paolo Bonacelli) and the love of a prostitute (Violante Placido) all while attempting to remain hidden from Swedish forces.

The American is superbly able to tell the audience a great deal about Jack by telling them very little about him. While his skill set is made clear, almost nothing is revealed to the audience about Jack’s typical workload before the film’s events.

Also clouding details about Jack is the character he takes while in hiding, as he goes by Edward and claims to be a photographer and not much else. Because of this lack of details, the nature of Jack’s character is allowed to bleed through unaltered.

Essentially everything else in the film means to be put into context with the character of Jack as well. The supporting characters all represent aspects of Jack’s life, and he feels about the characters the way he feels about those aspects. Jack’s employer Pavel (Johan Leysen), his client Ingrid (Irina Björklund) and the Swedish assailants all represent his past life. They are what he knows, and they are what he is pushing away. Conversely, Father Benedetto (Bonacelli) and Clara (Placido) represent the religion and love that Jack has been missing in his life, that he has previously pushed away and now craves.

Even the music is an extension of Jack. For the first hour of the film, the soundtrack is dead silent and Jack seems to have no emotion, but as the film goes on and his emotions intensify, so does the score.

The American isn’t for everyone, however. While it executes its artistic goal, it does so without doing what movies in general need to do — entertain. An audience with a long attention span will appreciate the film, but anyone else will have a hard time staying awake. The film is largely devoid of any stimuli that is significant at face value and will suffer at the box office for it.

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