In the words of "SouthPark"s Towelie, 'You wanna get high?' Yes, I do want to get high on Kristen Stewart and Jesse Eisenberg, cinema's most awesome couple this year in American Ultra a movie that rocks my socks off. No better way to describe it than if Jason Bourne was a stoner.
Scripted by Max Landis who gave us "Chronicle" and directed by Nima Nourizadeh who gave us "Project X," basically anything that could ever happen, happens in "American Ultra." From explosions and firepower, mental patients trained as killing machines, a young power-hungry CIA desk jockey who thinks he knows what's best for the agency, John Leguizamo, all the way to an irresistible beautiful but bloodied love story, this movie has it all, well.. except for ghosts, demons and the usual suspects, you catch my drift. To me, "American Ultra" brings that same fun that flicks like "Zombieland" and "Shoot 'Em Up" gave us, where you just want to see cool things happening all the time. And the story and the characters are still there, they're not neglected at all. The action sequences are elaborate and they serve to speak about the characters rather than the other way around. And let's face it, everyone of us has that switch in us that turns on whenever we watch somebody with a set of particular skills be both hardcore and vulnerable.
Jessie Eisenberg plays Mike Howell, a convenient store worker who at first seems insecure, he gets panic attacks, at times he can feel paranoid and extremely apologetic, he's in a long-time relationship with Kristen Stewart's character, Phoebe, in this small town USA, a place that's usually ignored or overlooked on the map. Meanwhile at Langley, an order has been activated by Topher Grace's character, Adrian Yates, to eliminate agent Howell, an order that's not taken well by Howell's former boss, Victoria Lasseter (Connie Britton) who's determined to help Howell. Basically if you've seen spy thriller movies, shows, or read spy thriller books about people trained to become intelligence assets since they were very young, you'll come to understand how this character Howell came to be. This lethal sleeper agent whose memories were erased, would have to summon back his inner skills in order to survive and save his girlfriend.
Obviously, this isn't Jesse Eisenberg and Kristen Stewart's first rodeo together, you can see how effortless it is the dynamic between the two, such ease, so in sync, they can read and understand each other very well. And because of that, there's something real about their characters' relationship. The film's fast-paced and high-octane energy keep you alert and anticipating. Not a single boring moment. I also have to give credit to Topher Grace who plays the villain, he's like a little brat demanding respect who he doesn't deserve and Grace plays it perfectly. The movie is also the perfect blend of action and comedy, I personally think it's way funnier than "Pineapple Express" if you want to go there for comparison. So add "American Ultra" to your list of Saturday night popcorn movies, I guarantee you won't regret it.
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