Lazy Movie Review: American Ultra

american ultra

Premise:  I spent way too much time trying to come up with a good Adventureland 2 joke to open this review, but then I remembered that the reference would probably go over everyone’s heads because no one saw Adventureland, and even fewer people saw American Ultra.  Did you guys even know this movie came out?  Do you even know what Adventureland is?  Did you stop reading this already?  You did, didn’t you?  Awww, crap…

 

Pros: 

-Max Landis (son of John, writer of Chronicle) wrote a screenplay that, while not entirely *original* original (isn’t this just a funny version of Bourne?), it was still more original than most anything else out there right now.  It felt different enough to where I knew it wasn’t ever going to be successful or popular.

-The comedy blends really well with the action of the film.  Like, you know how a lot of action movies (especially Marvel movies) can be funny by having comic relief characters popping up, but they often feel out-of-place and forced in there?  Well, American Ultra’s comedy goes hand in hand with the action, and the dopey characters interacting with their violently serious situations is a big selling point as to why it’s kind of decent.

-Can we finally stop comparing Jesse Eisenberg to Michael Cera?  They’re both fidgety weirdos in completely different, equally good ways.

-Was this perhaps the most depth I’ve ever seen out of Kristen Stewart?  I think she works best when she’s deliberately supposed to be playing some burnout millennial.

-I don’t really know who Connie Britton is, but my mom really likes her on some show called Nashville, whatever that is.  She was pretty good in this movie, too.

-Topher Grace has a punchable face, which is a compliment, because he was BORN to play the smarmy guy you want to punch in the face in movies.  I hope his business card reads “TOPHER GRACE – Professional Weasel / Supporting Actor”.  An interesting list someone should compile would be all the best actors in Hollywood who play the “promoted young guy who undermines the protagonists for no legitimate reason other than being a jerk” role.

-They called in Bill Pullman for five minutes.  Nothing wrong with that.

-The end credits animated sequence was awesome.   Like, really awesome.

 

Cons:

-I’m not sure where the singular meeting ground is for audiences when making a mashup of a dumb stoner comedy movie and a sleeper cell spy action movie?  I mean, I like the idea, but what about Tammy from accounting?  Aunt Laura?  Your dentist?  I’m not entirely sure this movie should have existed outside of a festival setting or an Amazon Prime queue, because I don’t quite understand the universal demand for it.

-Is it a negative thing that I find myself not really having *that* much to say about this movie, good or bad?

-This is not related to American Ultra in any way, but a commercial for The Maze Runner: Scorch Trials just came on TV, and it looks very awful.

 

Final Thoughts:  Hey, I liked this movie plenty.  I’d watch it again.  I’m sure if you saw it, you probably wouldn’t hate it.  Do I recommend it?  Sure, maybe on Redbox or Netflix or something.  It’s nothing groundbreaking or amazing, but it’s a perfectly cromulent movie.

8 out of 10

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