Netflix Review: The American

Question:  Do you know any female who does not want to have sex with George Clooney?  Probably not.  In The American we get to ask the question of what would happen if George Clooney was an assassin.

You see, the problem with George Clooney being an assassin is that he still looks like George Clooney.  So a man who requires anonymity in order to be successful at his job would be walking around all anonymous and such with random women coming up to him and begging him to wear them like a necklace.

George’s love interest, Violante Placido.

In fact, The American starts out with George hanging out with a lovely, butt naked woman.  Throughout the movie, George gets to hang out with lovely, butt naked women.  This is George Clooney.  I assume he just walked to the set each day and one or two of the gorgeous women  who are trying to throttle him, that followed him that day, are just thrown into the scenes with him.

He is also an assassin.  Which means that absolutely no one can know who he is.  So that first lovely, butt naked woman we discussed earlier; well she has the misfortune of being around when George gets attacked by another assassin.  George kills the assassin.  Then George kills her.  Then George goes and kills the assassins accountabili-buddy.

Thinking about George Clooney made Butter’s accountabili-buddy have bad thoughts…

You see, the lovely, butt naked woman saw George kill someone.  Therefore she must be killed because otherwise she can tell the police that it was George.  If she is dead, there is no one who knows George and can tell the police.  This is the issue that George must wrestle with throughout The American.  Everything that I have discussed so far happens in the first three minutes of the film.

This is a difficult film to recommend.  There is very little dialog.  An assassin must purposefully deal with as few people as possible.  The more people he makes an impression with, the more possible connections that people can make with him and dead people.  So we get long scenes of George filling up his day with things that do not involve other people.  We get him working out.  We get him building specialized weapons for assassinating people.  We see him reading.

Is there anything this man can do where he still doesn’t look good?

The beauty of a George Clooney film though is that the man can act.  So instead of being told George lives a solitary life, and he is in deep contemplation of whether or not he wants to continue that life; we are shown him living said life and in deep contemplation.  Instead of hearing him talk with someone about the internal tug of was he is having about whether he should allow himself to fall in love; we watch the battle play out on his face.

I really enjoyed this film because in all of that space where we are simply watching a man change his life, I was given time to think about what all he was wrestling with and think about how I would decide in each situation. I was forced to really pay attention to every character because no one is sitting there force feeding me what I am supposed to be thinking and reacting to.  I am allowed to do these things on my own.

Much like Cat Norris, I come to my own conclusions.

If you are a person who enjoys people watching as much as I do.  If you have conversations and watch people’s faces to see how they are reacting to everything that is going on, you will love this film.  The American is a character study and Clooney inhabits this character.  If that sounds interesting to you, then I highly recommend The American.  If that makes you want to take a nap, then I would stay away.

Have you seen The American?  What did you think of it?  Let us know in the comments below.

~Ryan Lynch

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