in This time it's personal

The Ugly American

Waste of time, money, if you ask me. ( Pic from Wikipedia)

By no means is George Clooney ugly.
And I say that as a Filipino male who has an unblemished record of staunch heterosexuality (to quote my fictional idol also named George, Jerry Seinfeld’s best friend, Costanza). [See: More of George Costanza and his quote.]
However, Clooney’s latest film — The American directed by Anton Corbijn — is another matter altogether.
The movie sucks big time.
And no amount of interesting babes — the movie has two: an assassin and a call girl — can make up for the energy, patience, and expense moviegoers incurred to see it.
For the first fifteen or so minutes, the movie progresses along nicely, helping clarify character motivation, establish narrative action, and build cinematic tension.
Clooney, an American hitman, manages to eliminate a killer out to get him while in Sweden. After meeting his principal in Rome, he is told to cool his heels in an Italian town.
And that marks the time the movie jumps the shark, so to speak. [See: Jump the shark]
Posing as a photographer, the taciturn protagonist goes around the village, sharing drinks and meals with the parish priest and visiting a call girl in the next town.
No witty one-liners nor smart barbs are traded between the characters, further blunting whatever passes for narrative movement in this movie.
Moreover, as Clooney does his best to protect his cover, viewers are treated to the town’s rustic offerings, a river, a field, and an overview of an oddly-shaped highway.
As individual images, they’re fodder for Flickr.com.
But scenes on an image hosting website does not a movie make.
These arguably picturesque views do nothing but to exhaust the tolerance of the audience, many of whom have been tricked into expecting some kind of action.
Unfortunately, that doesn’t take place until the film’s last 10 minutes.
And by that time, the audience is already way too sleepy to care.
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From the Fine Print Dept. The title of this blog entry was taken from a 1958 novel of the same name, which later became a movie starring Marlon Brando.

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