The American – 1 star

I picked up The American mainly because it starred George Clooney and he had a gun in his hand on the DVD cover.  It’s a pretty bad movie, with a bunch of things wrong with it.  Foremost is Clooney, miscast as an emotionally detached killer-sort.  Steve McQueen, sure.  But not Clooney, who mistakes emotionally detached with catatonic.

He plays a killer and/or facilitator for killers who has to hide out in the most picturesque town in Italy.  There, he demonstrates that he is a spartan and a loner, because he is alone, has no pictures in his apartment and does a fair amount of sit-ups and push-ups.  Of course, he strikes up a friendship with a priest, who pushes him a little morally, and a prostitute, who, given how attractive she is, should charge $50,000 a roll.

And, yes, he decides it is time to “get out.”

The film is overbearingly serious, and chock full of tropes, like, oh, he kissed a prostitute on the mouth and went down on her = love.  And then he was in a shoot-out and won, and got in the car, and . . . is that blood?  Oh my God!  He was so in shock and it was all so crazy, he didn’t even know he’d been shot in the gut until he was driving a a mile out of town.

This guy is really . . . detached.

And “they” won’t let him “out.”  Why?  Unsaid, unexplained.  Apparently, it’s enough to say “I’m out” and then some really serious French dude makes arrangements for you to be offed.

I wish I could have gotten out too.  But no.

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