Now showing on cable: “The American”

The last of the movies stuck in my DVR limbo since I went to Comic-Con is “The American”, which made it’s debut on Cinemax a week or so ago.

George Clooney stars as a hit man who needs a woman.

The film begins with his cover being blown and him having to flee hiding. He winds up in Rome, where he picks up a job crafting a high powered sniper rifle for a female assassin.

Along the way, he hires a whore who he winds up falling for, and a priest whom he befriends.

The end.

Ok, there’s a little more to it than that, but not freakin’ much.

I understand that a hit man would probably be an extraordinarily restrained individual, but I think Clooney just went through 95% of this film with the same exact sullen expression on his face all the way through. The other characters aren’t exactly tap dancing around either. In addition to the characters being restrained, the plot is restrained. Literally the only thing that happens is he flees to Rome, gets the gun job, meets a hooker and a priest, makes the gun and worries about getting shot the entire time. Even the $&@#ing soundtrack is restrained. Barely playing music, and when it does it’s simple, slow, solo piano stuff.

We’re never told why the people trying to kill him are trying to kill him, or anything about his former jobs, or much about his current job, or even anything about him really. There’s some minor action sequences and a pretty predictable finale.

I swear, this movie is an exercise in minimalism.

I can do slow burns, I can do character studies, I can handle subtitles. But you’ve gotta give me something, good grief!

Violante Placido is a gorgeous woman and full out naked for most of her screen time. Outside of that, I have little reason to recommend this movie to anyone.

C

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