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641. American Ultra

Published January 23, 2016

Background info

Title: American Ultra Director: Nima Nourizadeh Year: 2015 Run time: 1hr 36m

“Jesse Eisenberg and Kristen Stewart star in this dynamic thrill ride that mixes explosive action with edgy humor. Mike (Eisenberg) shares a small-town life with his girlfriend Phoebe (Stewart). But Mike’s sleepy world goes wild after he discovers that he’s actually a CIA sleeper agent with lethal fighting skills—and the target of government hitmen. Mike, the ultimate slacker, transforms into an ultra-attacker as he and Phoebe fight to survive in this exhilarating adventure.”

Live blog

3:19 – Smoke underwater is clever/weird. 5:56 – Love the shot of two cars in front of a factory. Amazing. 8:34 – Whenever I see people drawing now, I just think what they could do with an iPad Pro. 11:55 – “They might love to read it, if you wrote it down.” 16:26 – “Just clearing the portfolio.” That’s one way of putting it! 23:03 – You’ve got to have a lot of force to kill someone with a spoon. 24:01 – “He was armed with a spoon, sir.” 25:17 – She’s insanely patient with him. 26:52 – “It was just a thing that happened.” 33:07 – Love her analysis of everything he did wrong. “You don’t just say gun.” 42:27 – Ooh, actual airdrop. 45:22 – She’s kind of bossy, but I like her. Ballsy. 49:37 – Ah, yea, that explains why she’s so patient with him. 56:23 – “…and your face is all messed up.” Ooh, burn. 1:05:35 – Slo mo frying pan deflection is incredible. 1:12:31 – Big shoot-out in a supermarket. So many potential weapons. I’ll never shop the same way again. 1:20:48 – Aww, that so is the moment! Except for the state of his face. 1:25:41 – Ooh, six months later.

Conclusions

I was worried we were going to end up with two unfinished films in a row here, because the first 19 minutes and 50 seconds were pretty drawn out and unengaging. But soon, they flipped a switch, and I was invested, keen to know what happens and desperate for Kristen Stewart to be even more kick-ass than she already was.

It turns out our twenty minute rule is about perfect, because it stopped me turning off this film which evolved into a really good action movie. It’s got that edge to it, where it can be a bit gory in places, but Jesse Eisenberg instills the whole thing with a lovely gormless humanity, which blends perfectly with Stewart’s undercover skills.

I loved their relationship, how it broke down and got back together. Topher did a fantastic job as the guy you love to hate, and overall it told an interesting story pretty well. Just get through the first twenty and you’ll be fine.

Rating: 3/5.

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