American Ultra (2015)

R   |    |  Action, Comedy


American Ultra (2015) Poster

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.


6.1/10
82,204

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28 August 2015 | matthewssilverhammer
4
| Tonal Mess
If the new movie American Ultra was half as clever as it seems to think it is, it would be a bawdy treat. The design is extremely stylish and even nobly unique, but underneath those flairs of fun is one of the most identity-confused films ever, a true mess of genres and tones that never quite finds its footing. The cool premise and individual moments of fun can't overcome how poorly executed the final product is. Ultimately, AU is proof that a mash-up of good scenes without a cohesive center does not a good movie make. Eisenberg and Stewart play a pot-loving couple who learn that their lives may be more than they seem as they run into trouble with the CIA. It's Pineapple Express meets Bourne, but can't decide which one it more wants to emulate. At both times absurdly funny and oddly sincere, all the performers seem to be in different movies. On the villain side, we've got Goggins giving a Joker-like performance as a darkly hilarious, mentally disturbed madman, while Grace seems to think he's still on a sitcom, delivering lines with off-putting snark. On the other end, Stewart and Eisenberg fumble between broad comedy and indie drama with little clarity or success blending the two. Not that it's devoid of laughs; it manages some humor when it focuses on the identity crisis of a slacker-turned-trained-killer. Unfortunately, our hero wasn't the only one trying to awkwardly discover himself; so was the movie. What could've been an inventive little comedy ala Scott Pilgrim or Zombieland is an ultra-mess.

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