Monday, 6 December 2010

Film: The American

I saw Kat Muir’s review of this film in The Times on Saturday. It is an odd review. She makes a mistake in placing the action in Tuscany, which seems slight enough, except that it is set in the Abruzzo region of Italy (south and east of Tuscany) for the very specific reason that it is more mountainous, more isolated and less developed than Tuscany. It sets a scene where the visiting American protagonist, and the other foreigners who pop up in the story, stand out. But the second surprise is that she gives it four out of a possible five stars – pretty good then? Well, the scenery is pretty and it is a compelling watch. But a failing for a thriller is that the story really doesn’t hang together. At a key point, for example, when it is clear that he has been betrayed, George Clooney, the anti-hero does…nothing. Curious police inactivity in the face of a double murder in a very small town is also pretty hard to believe. But Clooney is not bad in it…not great but not bad. A little wooden. He gives little indication of what volcanic emotions are bubbling inside to make him behave as he does – you just have to accept it. Oh, and you have guessed how it will all end some way out, which is not so good in a thriller.

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