A "slow burn" movie can be something of a fine line for movie goers. While some people enjoy the tnesion that directors bring to thses types of movies, other people just want something to come up that is significant to move the plot and characters, not someone walking from one place to another. This a film that director Anton Corbjin brings to the table with his film, The American, which follows an assassin named Jack (George Clooney) hiding in a town in Italy, waiting for an assignment. While the film somehwat dawdles in certain character interactions that Jack has and has a bit of a rushed finale, the tension that Corbjin exudes in this film is just too good to ignore.
As a fan of action films, there have always been certain qualities that I always preferred in films. For one thing, I always think of the saying "less is more" in certain action films, as it makes the action all the more engaging and, in many ways, exciting. If you simply throw more bangs for your buck in certain places of your film, it becomes oversaturated and makes the movie feel repetitive. That's why certain action moments in quiet films like No Country for Old Men feel more memorable than action heavy films like Transformers, at least for me. It's the small scale and direction of these scnes that brings suspense for the viewers, waiting for the cork to just pop off.
The American doesn't have a very memorable "low-key" action moments, but the suspense is certainly wokrs in its favor. It's a world of paranoia and mistrust. Paranoia is key for the character of Jack, and George Clooney plays it off in spades. He's a man who can move on from the world he inhabits in a drop of a hat, or a crack of a bullet for that matter. However, there is a sense of connection that Jack yearns which is evident throughout the film, as well as being one of the plot points. However, as much as there are plot points to distinguish and broaden the character of Jack, the points feel rushed as well as kind of unimportant to the plot.
Yet, the movie is still impeccably made and acted, and that is defintiely worth something. The film follows the ins-and outs of the hcaracter that it is almost felt like a routine, but never really boring. It's a well cut film and Corbjin knows how to handle suspense very well, mostly through the film's soundtrack to build up each scene. It's just that while the film feels like it is building up to something, it's something that pretty much concludes in a predictable matter.
The American is a film that is a pleasant past time experience to be watch if you are up to it. Like I said, it has a slow burn that some may not be comfortable or patient with, but George Clooney and the director's chops imbue enough quality for the film that never makes it a terrible film experience. Some aspects feel inconsequential to the plot, but the overall tension tht this "low-key" film brings is just too good to ignore.