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Movie Review: The American

Alternate Title: Much Ado About Nothing

Story: How do I categorize a film that is visually exciting and mood delighting but fails to deliver a meaningful story or characters that I cared about? Sadly, I have to categorize it as missable.

The film was directed by artist Anton Corbijn and almost every scene is picture book eye candy. The weak part was the story which was written by Rowan Joffe and based on the novel A Very Private Gentleman, by Martin Booth.

Our protagonist, Jack, is a loner. There are lots of question marks as to who this loner is, why he kills people and who he works for. None of these questions are answered, so I am surmising he is a hit man with no motive other than money.

Much of the film is devoted to the loner's creation of a weapon for another hit man (woman). There is little dialog. Lots of attention is paid to the gorgeous Italian town where this loner hides out. Angles, always, curvy roads and moody morning fog with some suspense thrown into the midst.

Should you see it? If you like to stare at George Clooney for two hours, that would be a good reason to se it. Other than that - wait for it to come to cable real soon.

Watch the trailer here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ywmoXZwkA0

Acting: George Clooney as Jack is unusually grim. Thekla Reuten as Mathilde wears the same grim face. Paolo Bona- celli as Father Benedetto was forgettable. Violante Placido as the hooker, Clara is pretty and spends most of the film half naked.

Trivia: Director Anton Corbijn is an accomplished and very popular still photographer. He has photographed bands such as U2, R.E.M. and filmed videos for bands like Nirvana ("Heart Shaped Box"), Metallica ("Hero of the Day") and Depeche Mode (with whom he collaborates since 1986)

Predilection: None

Critters: A passing dog and a lamb.

Food: Considering it was Italy there is almost no appetizing food.

Sex Spectrum: As said above, one of the characters spends much of the film half naked.

Blatant Product Placement: Nikon

Soundtrack: Moody

Opening Titles: An opening sequence with a murder then all of the titles are superimposed as jack drives to his hide-out in Italy.

Visual Art: Martin Ruhe, director of photography, paints a lovely canvas.

Theater Audience: About a dozen guys and me.

Weather: Italy is usually suffused in sepia tones. Not in this cool blue palette film.

Sappy Factor: 0

Quirky Meter: 0

Squirm Scale: 0

Drift Factor: I did indeed drift.

Predictability Level: I stopped caring somewhere along the way.

Tissue Usage: 0

Oscar Worthy: No

Big Screen or Rental: Neither

Length: Under two hours