Title: American Ultra
MPAA Rating: R
Director: Nima Nourizadeh
Starring: Jesse Eisenberg, Kristen Stewart, Connie Britton
Runtime: 1 hr 36 mins
What It Is: Mike (Eisenberg) just lives an ordinary life with his girlfriend Phoebe (Stewart) in West Virginia. He likes to smoke weed and draw comics, all while working at a convenience store. One day when a mysterious woman (really an CIA agent named Lasseter played by Britton) something appears to go terribly wrong for Mike. Now, suddenly he can fight like a highly trained machine. As the CIA tries to kill Mike and cover up his existence, the plot, powered by the pencil-pushing agent Adrian Yates (Topher Grace) is to leave no trace of these “secret” assets. People who do not even know they are government weapons.
What We Think: This is some balls to the wall action! Not only are Max Landis’ words dagger like (if it’s accurately written), but there are moments in it where the characters supersede the plot in the best possible way. Almost as if to say that the story is fine, but here are our characters, here is our world soak it in. It’s bravado is refreshing and it does not give a crap if you like it. Which is in fact why I liked it. Eisenberg is so damn refreshing here, he’s outside of the norm somewhat here. In addition I’ll say this Kristen Stewart was real good, like real good! That’s three films in a row for her that she’s impressed me Still Alice , The Clouds of Sils Maria and now this. I like films that will juxtapose things that don’t make sense together.
Our Grade: B-, It’s a shame not more people went to see this, however it could easily build a cult status. It’s equal parts stoner comedy and espionage/spy thriller. Shoutout to the always awesome John Leguizamo. I’m going to recommend this movie, but not for the faint of heart. Director Nima Nourizadeh has only one other major Hollywood credit and it’s 2012’s Project X which isnt a good movie at all. Good upgrade here man!