Tomorrow American Ultra starring Jesse Eisenberg and Kristen Stewart comes out on dvd and blu-ray. When I saw the previews for it I didn’t know if I really wanted to see it, but I’m glad that I did. My review will tell you just what instant noodles, a cast iron skillet, and Hawaiian shirts have in common.
I’m just going to let you know in advance that one reason I didn’t have a burning desire to see this movie if because I’m not the biggest fan of the characters that Jesse Eisenberg frequently plays. I like the movie Zombieland, but his character Columbus bugs me, and every time I think Eisenberg I just think annoying. I don’t know how he is in real life, but somehow on screen he just bugs me. I though really like Kristen Stewart. I never saw her in the Twilight movies, I know I know, but I was never into the book series and just didn’t feel the urge to see the movies. I really liked her in Speak, if you haven’t seen it you should. You should also totally read the book it’s based on. I decided Topher Grace and Connie Britton with Kristen Stewart outweighed my random dislike of Eisenberg.
When it started, American Ultra reminded me a lot of an indie rom-com. Two quirky stoners living together in a small town just sort of getting by with the guy hoping to take the relationship to the next level by proposing. Eisenberg’s Mark attempts to take his girlfriend, Phoebe, played by Stewart, to Hawaii, but we learn any time he tries to leave town he has intense panic attacks and they wind up missing their flight. When they get back home, with unworn Hawaiian shirts, Mark heads into work and during one of his shifts a woman arrives, Connie Britton, and starts speaking gibberish at him while pretending to buy instant noodles. Topher Grace’s character has decided that he needs to kill Mark because he was part of a defunct super secret program that was eliminated when it didn’t create sufficient agents.
The movie maintains a very rom-com vibe throughout, with Mark attempting to figure out when he should propose to Phoebe even when everything in his life is going haywire. Mark fights like a mad man, he somehow manages to shoot a bullet at a cast iron skillet and land it in a guy’s chest, but it turns out that Phoebe has way more skills than you would initially think. She isn’t just a girl who needs saving, but she tries to protect Mark and keep him from making dumb decisions. Topher Grace’s character reminded me a bit of how he acted in the third Spiderman movie, after he started turning into Venom. He does play a good jerk. There are some plot twists and misdirects that make giving a full plot summary like creating a spoiler minefield of an article. If you want a lighthearted action movie to watch you should check out American Ultra.
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