Image copyright © by Marcus Trahan

The American


I guess it’s not all that unlikely that you could have an intelligent, tense, spy movie with a major box-office star and be only moderately successful. This one made its money back, but wasn’t the hit it ought to have been. In fact, I barely heard of it until I saw the DVD listed. George Clooney plays an enigmatic man who, in the first five minutes, does something that makes him very difficult to like. He may not be an actual assassin, but he makes weapons for assassins, to order. This movie reminded me of The Day of the Jackal, (original version, of course) except the Jackal was cool and emotionless right to the end. Clooney begins outwardly stoic, but his paranoia begins to get the best of him. And he’s right, people really are out to get him. This is not a slam-bang James Bond piece of stupidity. There are scenes of violent action, but they are believable. It is very restrained, very quiet, slow-paced, but I was never bored.