007 meets Cheech & Chong in “American Ultra”

Release Date: August 21, 2015

Running Time: 1 hour and 36 minutes

Rated R

Directed By: Nima Nourizadeh

Grade: C+

Starring

Jesse Eisenberg as Mike Howell

Kristen Stewart as Phoebe Larson

Topher Grace as Adrian Yates

Connie Britton as Victoria Lasseter

Walter Goggins as Laugher

John Leguizamo as Rose

Bill Pullman as Raymond Krueger

Tony Hale as Petey Douglas

The ultimate secret agent becomes the ultimate target.

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Mike Howell is a stoner who works at the Cash-N-Carry in Lyman, West Virginia. After he saves money for a long time, he buys a ring to propose to his girlfriend named Phoebe and plans to pop the question on a trip to Hawaii. One night as he is changing the sign in front of his store, his whereabouts is picked up by the CIA.  Agent Adrian Yates thinks that Mike’s recent attempt to leave West Virginia to go to Hawaii is a risk to a defunct CIA program that he was responsible for. Therefore, he sends a squad of operatives to West Virginia to take Mike out. Luckily, Agent Lasseter is given an alert of the situation and goes to the aid of Mike before the first strike occurs. Confused as to why people want him dead and how he instinctively knows how to maneuver in any situation, Mike is forced to fight back in order to save himself, Phoebe, and the town of Lyman, West Virginia.

There’s nothing more dangerous than a stoned cold killer.

Fans of Jesse Eisenberg will not be disappointed with his usual quick witted and genuine performance. The rest of the cast is equally entertaining with John Lequizamo and Walter Goggins assisting in the comedic portion of this action/comedy. The pervasive violence throughout the film has a Quentin Tarantino feel to it, but was in actually directed by Nima Nourizadeh who is a music video director that made his directorial debut with Project X in 2012. The story is out of the norm for 2015 and was written by Max Landis who is known for Chronicle which was also released in 2012. Given the R rating and the history of the director and the writer, this leads me to believe that the target audience is 20’s and 30’s. However, if you are young at heart (like me) and enjoy a great escape, then go see it! ~Movie Buffette

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American Ultra was entertaining, but might appeal to more audiences if the “comic book blood” scenes were toned down a bit.  It is one thing to show violence and quite another to show the blood splatter traveling several feet.  In my opinion, it did not enhance the film.  In fact, it took away from it. The film is appropriately rated R for strong, bloody violence and language throughout on top of drug use and some sexual content.  Jesse Eisenberg does a fantastic job as the hapless stoner who is a lethal sleeper agent living in a small town with his girlfriend.   Kristen Stewart and Eisenberg’s previous on-screen work together in Adventureland (2009) led to great on-screen chemistry.   Stewart brings her usual and together they create a faced paced action comedy that will appeal most to Millenials.  ~A.S. MacLeod

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downloadAmerican Ultra is a car wreck with a happy ending. Let me explain, when I first saw the trailer for this movie I thought to myself, “Seriously?!” Then I actually watched the movie and I had the same reaction. Now I’m going to explain to you why this movie is a car wreck with a happy ending.

First you have Mikey (Jesse Eisenberg) who is a stoner who works at a mini-mart and his girlfriend Phoebe (Kristen Stewart). This couple is in the car that you know is already beat-up, back window is taped with a trash bag and duct tape but they are happy and oblivious.

Then out of nowhere a woman (Victoria Lasseter played by Connie Britton) in a shiny smooth black car starts to follow the beat-up car. And you realize she has been following this beat-up car for a while, looking out for this poor car. And you start to wonder why?

Then suddenly she makes herself noticeable to the beat-up car and tries to warn him by flashing her head lights as a code. Then she mysteriously disappears into the night.

Then you have the car on the road that thinks he is the shit. Like a sports car or a hummer the size of a tank that thinks they own the road. That one shiny, big, and bad car that you know is compensatting for something. That car is Adrian Yates played by Topher Grace. Did I mention no one really likes this car?

But the main point is the hummer wants to take out the shabby beat up car. Completely total the car until it is a piece of scrap metal. But why, it’s because what this shabby beat up car has under the hood. Under its hood is something so dangerous and lethal but it doesn’t know it yet.

Now car wrecks have their moments, they are interesting, different, have a lot of action and occasionally funny but most car wrecks are not. And that is my explanation on why American Ultra is a car wreck with a happy ending. I have explained the car wreck part but you will have to see the movie to get the happy ending.

So if you like car wrecks I definitely think that you should go see this movie. It’s in theatres August 21, 2015 which is Friday! Have fun! ~Britney Broussard

 

About Leigh Ann Rassler