FILM FANS: 'The American' may be slow for some

EDITOR’S NOTE — Film Fans features local residents reviewing the film of the week: “The American”.” Want to be a Film Fan? E-mail features@gwinnettdailypost.com.

1 star

Sparse dialogue, beautiful scenery and great timing boosted this movie to 1 star — that’s how bad it was. The poor reviews I’d read, based on the lack of action in the movie, actually piqued my interest, because I generally enjoy a quiet psychological film. However, if “The American” were posited as a study on loneliness, the murky, shallow and incomplete treatise would lead one to conclude that the writers hadn’t endured a lonely day in their lives. I think a couple of teenagers tried to finesse a mature, complex theme into a simplistic, universally appealing blockbuster and ended up with a sad parody of “Man on Fire.” Save your time and money and pass on this one.

— Jenni McKinney, Buford

1 1/2 stars

This movie was very different than any I’d seen lately. I can usually find something positive to talk about with most movies. This one, however, leaves me scratching my head, both in trying to find something good to say and in the ending of the movie.

The scenery could be much more beautiful. Even the part that Clara (Violante Placido) calls paradise has no spectacular beauty to it. It seems the director intentionally made everything drab to coincide with the main character’s personality.

I suppose the moral of the story can be found in some of the conversations with the priest. He senses the loneliness of Jack (George Clooney) and tells him he needs to open his life to someone. In the end, it seems that Jack has finally put his grisly past behind him when he commits to Clara, but then his past catches up with him and the movie is over. There are no real chase scenes and no real action like in the Bond or Bourne films. This one is slow, dreary and not worth your time.

— J. P. Zinn, Lawrenceville

3 stars

“The American,” starring George Clooney, is a quiet, unpretentious story of a professional assassin turned skilled custom-made weapons master on the run. Director Anton Corbijn expertly leads Clooney down a solemn, lonely path, while engaging us in his past sins and his deep yearning for emotional intimacy. This is a compelling, introspective story of a man searching for acceptance, finding it in a different direction than most audiences are used to seeing.

This is not an action movie, nor is it 007 meets “Mission Impossible” or Jason Bourne. This was an acting movie and I appreciate Clooney as he’s grown and developed in recent years, taking on deeper, more meaningful roles and not the suave, romantic leading man he chose for so long. I enjoyed watching the story unfold on Clooney’s face and observing the depth of character in his soulful eyes. The film may be too brooding and slow for some, but it worked well for me.

— Myra Simons, Buford