Based on the novel, A Very Private Gentleman, by Martin Booth comes the dramatic suspense-thriller, The American. The story begins in Sweden with Jack (George Clooney) and a female friend enjoying themselves in a cabin when he is suddenly attacked by a group of assassins. (Kinda sounds James Bond-ish.) After killing his attackers, he receives a phone call from his boss Pavel (Johan Leysen) who tells him to go to a small village in Italy to meet a woman named Mathilde (Thekla Reuten). She hires Jack to build a light weight rifle and a with specific measurements and details. Come to find out, his job is to build customized guns for assassins and as a result of his work, he is a killer himself. While in town he becomes friends with Father Benedetto (Paolo Bonaceali) who introduces him to the mechanic in town so Jack can use his tools and his garage to build the gun. (Right. And I can build a tank in my little garage.) In the process of building the weapon he meets a beautiful prostitute in town named Clara (Violante Pletido), they soon begin to have feelings for each other, and of course, she stops making him pay for her services. (I was wondering how a small village could support a bordello so the girls could work for free?) Jack has been debating retiring from the business and with someone like Clara interested in him and with more suspicious characters slinking around town he decides to make this his last job. Movie-goers beware; even though this film has a couple murder scenes this isn’t a shoot-em-up, blow-em-up, car chase film. In fact, the pacing is slow and the tension comes from not knowing who is around the corner thus making the main character paranoid and the viewer uneasy. This is a character driven movie with George Clooney doing a fantastic job and reminding us how he won an Oscar. With an Italian cast and crew, more low-keyed tone, and scenes with full female frontal nudity it feels like a European movie. On the down side, the script isn’t the best with several logic holes, and even some clichés were too obvious. (How many other films have a man leaving some sort of business because of a woman?) A lot of people will not like this film because of it’s slower pace but I was prepared for the lack of action and I’m giving it a B- rating.
This movie has been given a R rating by the MPAA
Although I am blind, I can appreciate a good movie as well as sighted individuals.
I rely more on a good story line than special effects.