THE AMERICAN is a deeply disappointing film from Anton Corbijn, director of the brilliantly photographed CONTROL. The visuals here are lacklustre, the acting so-so, the plot machinations weak and predictable, and the existential angst we are meant to be exploring taken from grade-school.
George Clooney plays a bespoke weapon-maker/assassin in hiding in a small Italian town. Because, of course, you'd never go into hiding in a large anonymous metropolis. Oh no! You'd go into hiding in a small town where your presence would be conspicuous. The Clooney character is asked to manufacture a weapon by a hot female assassin - mais oui! - and while doing so falls for a hooker with a heart of gold - naturellement! Meanwhile, he has a couple of conversations with a local priest that threaten to become a serious moral conversation but never do.
The resulting film is dull, quiet, ponderous, ludicrous and predictable. This movie doesn't become edgy or interesting just because Clooney allows himself to play a man who does some pretty cold-hearted stuff. Especially when all that is undercut in the final scenes. I honestly have no idea what this film is doing in this festival.
THE AMERICAN is on release in most markets. It opens on the 22nd October in Iceland and on 27th October in Belgium, France, Switzerland and Hungary. It opens on November 12th in Brazil and on November 25th in Portugal, Iceland and the UK. It opens in Australia on December 16th.