Film Review: “American Ultra” (2015) ★★★


Every time you make your way to the theater, you expect to see something that will blow your mind, something that will make you talk about it later. More importantly, you’d want to recommend the movie you just saw to your friends. Well, it’s all good except one thing, the film directed by Nima Nourizadeh will leave something strange and weird in your heart that will make you think twice before you suggest his movie to anyone. After all, you don’t want your friends to think that you’re insane because you enjoyed American Ultra, do you? I don’t know about you, but I care less about it. Because what I just saw is something unusual and unlike many other films I’ve seen in a while. And all what I can say is, whatever the screenwriter Max Landis smoked before he grabbed the pen to write his story, he better share it with his fellow writers for one simple reason: imagination is all what we need in order to keep the movie going… to keep imagination growing, the way it was accomplished in American Ultra.

Mike Howell may not be one of those who live a quiet life. But at least he is harmless. He smokes weed with his girlfriend, Phoebe. He works in a little store, and has a phobia that makes him stay in a little city that has no future at all. He tries to propose Phoebe but always fails. His life turns out to be a boring daily routine that does not bring him much new, until the moment when from one second to the next, he all of a sudden becomes a well-trained agent, activated by Victoria Lasseter (Connie Britton) in order to save his life. But when a group of well-trained army, protected under top secret program, go after newly-created Ethan Hunt type agent. They realise that he is too good and too strong and skilful to handle his power….

American Ultra is a well-made movie with the elements of comedy. After each scene when you think you’ve seen enough, it presents another surprise. It is action packed, entertaining and sometimes funny to watch, in a good way. Jesse Eisenberg as Mike is stunning. Even though in the beginning the viewer may get the feeling that Jesse Eisenberg cannot really fit into this role, but shortly after, he gains confidence and plays Mike in an absolutely ‘smoked’ way.  Kristen Stewart is another story that I must say, will probably never stop surprising me with her performance.

After becoming the first American actress to win the French version of Oscar, Cesar, Stewart seems to have left the Twilight Saga behind, showing how talented an actress she is. After seeing her performance in Clouds of Sills Maria, I no longer have doubts about her acting ability. And her performance in American Ultra proves once again her high ambitions that will certainly pay off someday.  Having said that, American Ultra is a movie worth your time. It may not be perfect, but good enough to spend your Friday evening watching it.


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