So 'The American' received mostly mediocre and somewhat harsh reviews when it came out so I decided to wait for the DVD. Surprisingly, I actually enjoyed it - I wouldn't say it was amazing or anything, but it was much better than I expected. Here is why:
1. It was quiet and unexpected - I think it was marketed wrong because I was under the impression that it was an action film about an assassin on the run. The film is far from action-packed - instead it is a quiet film. I can see how most would mistake that for boring, but I for one am always impressed when a film pulls off emotion and a strong story without a lot of action or dialogue. Plus the quietness enhances the "big" moments enough to make them memorable.
2. The Beginning and the End were fantastic - *Spoiler Alert* - I didn't expect for him to shoot the girl in the beginning. It was shocking and cold, yet the scene itself was beautiful. I did feel the middle drag a bit (absolutely nothing happened) but then the end was so strong I think it made up for the boring bits. I figured he would rig the gun so that it kills the other assassin instead of someone else (knowing that someone else was him) - yet it was still shocking to watch. The last scene where he is driving and struggling to stay alive just to see the woman he loves one last time was so fantastic and poetic and I give complete credit to George Clooney. He did a fantastic job at a very unappealing character.
3. The flaws - Ok...I admit it had some major flaws - like the fact that someone would "hide out" in a small town where he doesn't speak the language. He stands out every where he goes - it is sort of ridiculous. Plus, Clooney's character has zero charm. I think people expect him to charm the pants off of everyone in every film he is in - so I can see why Clooney fan's would hate this film. He is completely out of his usual character. I understand his "cold" and isolated personality, but as a whole I think his character just fell flat. I don't blame Clooney though - I blame the writing. Out of all of the flaws though, I still found myself thinking about the film after it was over (which is always a good sign) and I would recommend it to film enthusiasts.