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‘The American’, based on the novel “A Very Private Gentleman” by Martin Booth, is probably not one of the better movies I’ve seen.

‘The American’ disappoints

 ‘The American’, based on the novel “A Very Private Gentleman” by Martin Booth, is probably not one of the better movies I’ve seen. That being said, here’s the skinny on it.
 The cast of ‘The American’ is not without some notability. George Clooney plays Jack, an assassin with a penchant for machinery and butterflies.
 However, the rest of the cast is comprised of mostly small-time actors who are more popular overseas such as Thekla Reuten, Johan Leysen, and Violante Placido.
 ‘The American’ opens in Dalarna, Sweden, where it is quiet, peaceful, and snowy. Jack (Clooney) is enjoying a morning walk with one of his lovers when he is suddenly caught under fire by a sniper.
 He quickly subdues his would-be assailant and flees to Italy. There he meets with Pavel (Leysen), who sets up a job for him. It is through this job that he meets Mathilde (Reuten) and eventually begins paying business calls to Clara (Placido).
 As Jack works to complete his task of building a rifle for Mathilde, he assumes the name Edward and poses as a photographer to remain inconspicuous.   However, he is forced to fight an assassin from Sweden and realizes, through the council of an elderly priest, that he wants to lead a normal life.
 Unfortunately, it is then that he learns too late why he was coerced into creating the gun for Mathilde.
 The acting wasn’t too colorful, nor was it very invigorating for the audience.   
 The monotonous tones the actors used, while it may have been good for a film on secret assassins, was also a bit on the boring side.   
 Not only that, but the actors did not really build their characters; instead, it was more of an “I’m this person, I do something, that’s it” feeling, with no real development.
 In regards to the cinematography, it was quite good; the camera captured majestic views of the landscape and then completely contrasted them with crowded portions of the city.
 In a way, that also corresponds to Jack’s character; he seems much more at peace in the wide spaces the countryside provides, but he’s more uptight, claustrophobic, even, when he roams the streets.
 ‘The American’ was directed by Dutch director Anton Corbijn, who has directed mostly music videos, such as “All These Things That I’ve Done” by The Killers and “Viva la Vida” by Coldplay. This was only his fourth feature film, and personally, I believe he still needs some more practice.
 Overall, I would give The American two stars out of five; it had potential, but it seriously lacked in acting skill, the score could have been better, and while the cinematography was brilliant, it also had its faults.
 Bottom line, if you’re the kind of person who likes movies with plenty of meaningful dialogue, an interesting plot, and stimulating action, then ‘The American’ probably isn’t the movie for you.

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