Sunday, 28 November 2010

The American

Why so serious?

I'm normally adverse to most kind of thrillers these days. Ever since Bourne's shown up on the scene, everyone thinks spies and assassins should look like average joes but secretly be emotionless killing machines. Even Bond's latest reincarnation is sticking to the formula (but I'll let them have Casino Royale).

The American looked no different, with a humourless assassin (Clooney) hiding out in a generic looking European village. And with this I was ready to hate the film, but half way through I involuntarily became emotionally invested in The American. I can only put this down to the film's reluctance to play along with the stereotypical thiller rules: the kills are messy, the romance is shallow but believable, and the protagonist is morally questionable.

It almost certainly has it flaws; we never quite see underneath Clooney's mask - who is this man? Why is he incapable of trust? Why the butterfly fetish? It just leaves too many questions, making the film feel unsatisfying for the most part. I also think marketing this film as a Bourne-a-like might do the film more harm than good, as the action is fairly limited and unglorified.

But yes, I liked it.

No comments:

Post a Comment