American Ultra (2015)

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Everyone's Getting Smoked
American Ultra is directed by Nima Nourizadeh (Project X) and stars Jesse Eisenberg (The Social Network, Now You See Me), Kristen Stewart (Twilight, Snow White & The Huntsman) and Connie Britton (Nashville, American Horror Story). "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". Will American Ultra be another 'American' hit after Sniper, Hustle and Pie? or will it be a dud?


American Ultra is a really mad and interesting film. If I were to compare it to anything, I would probably say its The Matrix meets Kingsman: The Secret Service meets Spring Breakers - it has a similar concept to The Matrix, similar action sequences to Kingsman and is very artistic like Spring Breakers. Is this the recipe for delight or disaster?

In terms of watchability, I would say American Ultra is very entertaining to watch and is definitely watchable. However, it sometimes becomes a little too disturbing with very explicit violence. I feel that this was un-needed - it could have stayed unique with a long sequence like in Kingsman but it was continuous throughout which actually made the film quite uncomfortable to watch. I would probably say the film is rewatchable. However, what I will say is that American Ultra will definitely not appeal to the mainstream audience and will probably become a cult favourite. 

So the big question about this film is whether Kristen Stewart is good in it? and the answer to that question is yes! Ok, she is playing the love interest again but I feel that she shows a lot more emotion and enthusiasm in this role. Stewart probably outshone Eisenberg in this movie who had a much more wobbly performance (but was still generally good). However, the chemistry between Eisenberg and Stewart was superb! I thought Connie Britton also had a rocky performance but I think that was more down to her character not being developed very well rather than her actual performance. The rest of the supporting cast are ok but no one can steal the show from Stewart or Eisenberg. 

Like I briefly mentioned before, I would say that the mainstream audience member would not like American Ultra at all - it is a little bit too violent and a little bit too crazy for them to take in. I have to say the film does break boundaries and doesn't seem to aim to be a blockbuster hit which is good - its basically like an indie film that was given a pretty good budget. I liked the film myself and found it quite enjoyable. The film is an action comedy and is filled with violent action and funny moments so it definitely hasn't misled audiences. 

One thing that American Ultra truly has going for it is that it is an action movie with many artistic ideas and shots. I really liked the scene that took place in Rose's house where all of the characters glowed - it was very visually pleasing and was something i haven't seen done in a movie in a while. American Ultra also has some really good shot types. The budget for the film is $12 million - what they did with the effects is brilliant for such a low budget. The only bad thing about the look of the film is that the editing was a little sloppy and some scenes didn't really blend well with the next. 

From the trailer, I thought the story for American Ultra looked very similar to The Matrix and it was - the chosen one being hunted down. I thought the story was pretty good even though it wasn't made very clear and I didn't really no where the film was going at times. I thought the development for Stewart and Eisenberg's characters was very good but the overall development for the plot and other characters was very poor. What I liked about the dialogue is that it stopped the movie from being dumb. For example, in one scene Eisenberg's character makes some dumb moves but Stewart's character questions him about them later. Some of the twists and turns aren't very effective either due to the lack of tone/atmosphere created. 

American Ultra is an oddball of a film - with chemistry from Stewart and Eisenberg that is on fire but also a lot (maybe too much) violence. American Ultra is definitely original and is filled with artistic elements - however, this may restrict it from appealing to mainstream audiences. The film is generally sloppy and lacks development but with such a low budget, I think Nourizadeh has done a good job. Maybe not with the heights of Sniper and Hustle but its not a disaster either. 

3.5 STARS
B-

What did you think of AMERICAN ULTRA? Will it become a cult classic? - COMMENT BELOW

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