American Ultra Movie Review

American Ultra Movie Review

Directed by Nima Nourizadeh
Written by Max Landis
Release Date: 21 August 2015
Running Time: 96 minutes
Editor’s Rating: 3.5 out of 4 enraged comic book apes

Remember when you worked in a convenience store? Sure you do. And when you were completely paranoid and unable to leave the state but still loved to write and draw comic books starring a secret agent gorilla? How could you forget, right? And then that day that weird old lady came along and whispered that odd sentence to you about ten times, unleashing your dormant CIA training and turning yourself into a one-person army capable of single-handedly overthrowing governments and righting all of the wrongs in the world.

Now I sense I’ve lost you. Maybe that’s because you’re not this movie. I may have confused the concepts of “audience” and “film” there for a paragraph. Whatever, I’m back on track and ready to tell you all about this thingy - I mean, film.

I might have a little bit of an obsession with Jesse Eisenberg. He’s kind of like what happens when you take the youth of Michael Cera and give him the wit and delivery of Denis Leary. What’s not to love? And after this film, I realize I totally pegged Kristen Stewart wrong. She’s awesome, Twilight just did terrible things to her reputation. Hopefully, this film brought it back a little. I know it did for me.

So American Ultra takes a usual stoner comedy and turns it on its head in a rather refreshing way. It’s got the heart of Die Hard and the soul of Up In Smoke. Imagine a James Bond film, but he’s afraid of bullets. It’s a great set up to an interesting premise that pays off with a very fun and enjoyable hour and a half.

One of the strongest pieces of this film, aside from its comedy, is its cast. Jesse Eisenberg is perfect here, and Kristen Stewart gives a funny and also heartfelt performance. Also, props to the all-too-underutilized-in-other-movies Topher Grace for being an amazing bad guy/all-around butthole. The dialogue in this film cracks at a hundred miles per hour, and might just force a rewind or two because you couldn’t hear the joke over the sound of your laughter.

Even though this film could have just rested on its comedic laurels here, being written by Max Landis, the son of the great John Landis. Talent certainly seems to have been passed on to the next generation here. However, the action aspect of this film is surprisingly intense and entertaining. American Ultra is just as bloody and violent as it is funny.

Of course, you should probably leave the kids out of this one. Heads explode, blunts are smoked, and cusses are said a bunch. However, if you have a spare moment, this film is a real treat and a sleeper hit that more people should appreciate.

**I rented this. I was not compensated for this review.**

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