The only "young" American in "The Young Americans" is Viggo Mortensen, who was 35 years old. Otherwise we have a middle aged American (Harvey Keitel), a Zambian (Thandie Newton) and a bundle of Brits.
Harvey Keitel does his usual good job, although in this case he is more polished and less violent than we expect. The film comes out just after his roles in "Reservoir Dogs" (1992), "Bad Lieutenant" (1992), and "The Piano" (1993), all of which won him renewed acclaim and awards. One year later we would shine as the "cleaner" in "Pulp Fiction".
No one else is around much to talk about their performances. Thandie Newton at 20 is cute as a button, and Viggo Mortensen, though in his mid 30s, does look "young". Neither one of them gives us the quality that we later see for both.
The photography is excellent, and it's great to get to see sections of London. But the plot is awkward, and the action seems excessive, especially give the British environment. The core of the message is that American crime is seeping into England and the British need to watch out. I think violence in Britain was handled pretty well in "A Clockwork Orange", two decades earlier.
This was the second film for director Danny Cannon who went on to fame in TV as the producer of a bunch of CSI series as well as Nikita and Gotham.
It's not a bad film, but there is nothing new or exciting or innovative to recommend it.
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