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Film Review: “American Ultra” by Blade Brown

Plot: A stoner – who is in fact a government agent – is marked as a liability and targeted for extermination. But he’s too well-trained and too high for them to handle.

I walked into American Ultra with high hopes. The idea of an awkward stoner being a highly trained sleeper agent is already interesting. When you add Jesse Eisenberg and Kristen Stewart as the leads in said film, it gets a bit more intriguing. The end result is a cool action/comedy that will have stoners everywhere thinking they’re┬áJason Bourne.

The movie centers around Mike Howell (Eisenberg). A convenience store clerk who spends most of his days stoned. He lives with his girlfriend Phoebe(Stewart), who is just as much of a stoner as him. They live quietly in West Virginia where Mike struggles daily to find the perfect moment to propose to Phoebe. Unknown to Mike, he is secretly a sleeper agent whose the sole survivor of a failed CIA program. Being seen as a liability, he’s targeted for termination. But he’s activated by the former head of the program, and starts to dispatch his would be dispatchers.

The movie is carried by its strong cast. Not only are the leads really good, but the supporting cast, specifically Topher Grace (That 70’s Show) are all great in their roles. Walton Goggins (TV’s Justified) seems to be having a blast as an assassin tasked with taking Mike out. Kristen Stewart has been on a roll in her post Twilight career, showing a lot of range in a wide variety of movies. She shows no traces of the emotionless Bella Swan as she’s very lively and at times, badass. Jesse Eisenberg is also good in a role that you wouldn’t think he’d be able to handle. Much like Michael Cera in Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World, Eisenberg balances the action and comedy extremely well. Although the roles are polar opposites, one has high hopes for his upcoming turn as Lex Luthor after seeing him handle himself so well.

American Ultra is a nice little surprise at the end of the summer. Putting a nice twist on the spy genre, it’s a fun ride that has enough action and laughs to make you smile thinking about the goofy characters you just spent 90 minutes watching. Then maybe even roll a joint and go to the gun range.

Rating: 7/10

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American UltraBlade BrownFilm ReviewMovieMovie Review

brandonw • August 27, 2015

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