The student news site of Los Altos High School in Los Altos, California

The Talon

The student news site of Los Altos High School in Los Altos, California

The Talon

The student news site of Los Altos High School in Los Altos, California

The Talon

‘The American’ Leaves Fans Disappointed

Lights, camera … but where’s the action? From the misleading trailer, actor George Clooney stars as Jack, a thrilling spy ready to take on all of Europe.

In reality, this movie is a string of artful shots of Clooney looking stoic and dramatic. Really though, does he ever blink? His cryptic stares take up half the movie.

Jack, known professionally as “Mr. Butterfly,” is a retired agent seeking refuge in the Italian countryside. When he’s called up to take part in one final “errand,” he vows it’ll be his last. Jack is employed as an agent because of his unique talent for making and delivering specialty guns.

Throughout the movie, George Clooney is portrayed as the hardened, cryptic and washed out American trying to deal with his crumbling life. He has no family, and in his line of work, he can never have friends.

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The slow and confusing beginning is compiled of short, silent scenes that do nothing but leave the audience waiting. A car drives down a road in complete silence. A man and a woman walk through the snow, also in silence. George Clooney sits alone at a dark table alone drinking coffee. After about the first half of the movie, hints of a plot begin to tie together at a painfully slow rate.

Awkward moments are frequent in the film, as there isn’t enough music or dialogue. The silence drags on as the plot goes nowhere.

When there is music, it fades away shortly, and the lack of dialogue leaves the viewer trying to piece together the given information. The suspense grows all throughout the movie, lacking something, anything, to tie the tid-bits of information together into one cohesive storyline.

Although told in a confusing and disjointed manner, the plot is rather simplistic and not particularly captivating.  As an agent past his prime, Jack struggles to keep himself undercover. But is someone trying to kill him? Does he not want to be a spy anymore?

Viewers are left without a clear understanding of what’s going on through much of the awkward movie. In an attempt to become a sophisticated thriller, “The American” instead leaves the audience feeling disappointed and unsatisfied.

On the other hand, the film quality of the movie is excellent. Although not enough content is offered, the camera work adds a redeeming quality. Carefully thought out camera angles and clever scenes appeal to the patient-minded, or parents with a free evening to waste. (Not that you’d ever want to see this movie with your parents. Clooney has a run in or two with a friendly prostitute while in Italy.)

The uncomfortable movie’s  finish leaves the audience surprised to find that it is over before it ever really began. It has already been an hour and a half. The story feels unfinished as the movie makes a sad attempt to end dramatically. The dull, unsettled ending gives no warning that the story has just reached its climax, and is drawing to a  close. Instead of adding interest to the film, the ending    leaves viewers dissatisfied.

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