Friday, August 21, 2015
American Ultra Review
I will admit, the premise of this movie is nothing to write home to. If you think too deeply about everything that happens or try to pick apart the movie, you'll probably be able to find a lot of things wrong with this movie. If you come to me later saying that you hated the movie, I won't be one bit surprised. This is nothing new. This is nothing creative. In fact, it's kind of a lot of different ideas thrown into one, but for me it worked. Here we have Jesse Eisenberg playing a stoner in a small town. Kristen Stewart plays his girlfriend that he absolutely adores and he works in this small convenient store type of thing that no one really ever enters. Life is just quiet and low key for him. But then some lady enters the mart and starts speaking some mumbo-jumbo to him. Shortly after, two guys approach him with the intent of killing him and out of nowhere he pulls off these crazy awesome moves where he kills both of these people while only being armed with a spoon. Yup. Apparently he is some sort of secret super-soldier that is now being targeted for termination and he's just as shocked as anyone at all of this. It's beginning at that point where we as an audience are taken on quite the wild ride as Jesse Eisenberg and Kristen Stewart are simply trying to not be killed while both pulling off some crazy awesome moves in the process.
Then there's Kristen Stewart. The two of them are just perfect for this movie. In fact, it's both of them giving excellent performances that makes this movie work. They have great chemistry as a complicated couple, which makes for a surprising level of emotion as we get deeper into the film. But they're just fun to watch. About Kristen Stewart. If you are one of those people that still bash her for her inability to act, we're at the point where you need to get with the times. One good performance could be seen as a fluke, but when it comes to the point where she gives an excellent performance in everything that she does, I think it proves that her Twilight performance was the actual fluke. Once again I will say that I think her performance in Twilight can be attributed to a poorly written character and a poor direction for the movie as a whole. Even the best of actors can sometimes give bad performances when they have nothing to work with and no one working with them. Just go watch The Phantom Menace again and pay attention to how bored great actors like Natalie Portman, Ewan McGregor, and Liam Neeson look the whole movie. My point proven. What I've learned to love about Kristen Stewart is that she is blunt and straightforward with her feelings. When she's upset or bored, she's not afraid to show it. But when she's into something, she goes all it. The latter is the case with American Ultra. She is so into this movie and is thus so fun to watch with the broad range of emotion that she brings to the table with her character.
So yes. I enjoyed this movie. Is it the most unique, creative, and thought-provoking movie? Absolutely not. It's fairly simple and straightforward with the premise and doesn't really bring anything new to the table, but that's just fine. It doesn't need to. It's just a movie that is trying to have a lot of fun and succeeds. What really makes it work as well as it does are the two stellar performances from Jesse Eisenberg and Kristen Stewart. Both of them are the perfect casting choice for their specifics roles in the movie and both of them give it their all. They provide action. They provide humor. They provide emotion. They have great chemistry. Because of all this, when this group is trying to attack and kill them, you honestly care for their well-being and you want everything to work out for the best. It's all extremely satisfying, especially in the final act when Jesse Eisenberg is just in the zone and you know that anyone or anything that crosses his path is in deep trouble. At just 95 minutes, this movie is also very simple and to the point. They could've dragged it out to two hours or more, but they didn't and that worked very well for them. One critic said that it was the funnest movie of the Summer and the marketing recently has taken that and ran with it. No, it's not the funnest time I've had at the theaters this Summer, but it's up there. My grade for American Ultra is an 8/10.