‘American Ultra’ gives new angle


(Alan Markfield/Lionsgate via AP)

In this image released by Lionsgate, Jesse Eisenberg, left, and Kristen Stewart appear in a scene from “American Ultra.”

Erik Calderon, A&E Editor

American Ultra is the story about a CIA sleeper secretive operative, Mike Howell (Jesse Eisenberg) living in a small town with his girlfriend. When the regime at headquarters shifts to new power, they place Mike Howell on a termination list.

This is a film by Nima Mourizadeh starring Jesse Eisenberg, Kristen Stewart, and Connie Britton.

This is one of the most entertaining films I’ve seen in a while, even though the story was not too original. A sleeper in a small town gets woken up and has to defend his life, think Bourne Identity, The Manchurian Candidate, and slew of other secret agent films, like The Kingsman, James Bond, Mission Impossible, and the list goes on and on. How many times can you do the same story over?

This film takes an incredible angle, think Scott Pilgrim vs. The World. Nima turns this piece into a combination of graphic art, comic book storytelling, action and comedy. I was visually entertained with art and action-the fight scenes were amazing and flawlessly choreographed. And to think, this is only Nima’s second film.

Michael Bonvillain, the same guy that did Zombieland, was the cinematographer for this film. His style is unique and extremely creative. The angles, camera movement, and choice of lenses, helped get the story across, especially when Nima was developing the characters in the first 30 minutes of the film. I enjoyed getting to know Mike and his girlfriend, Phoebe Larson (Kristen Stewart).

The start of this film is amazing and completely grabs me by the ears. I was sucked into this story in the first 3 seconds of the film, with Jesse’s opening sequence, the choice of angles, the sound design.
This film is a must.

The acting in this film is perfect. It’s real enough to get lost and suspend your disbelief, yet has a touch of unrealism to keep you in that zone of entertainment, where you know that it’s just a movie. Jesse did a great job playing Mike; he fits the part perfectly, although some actors could have been better placed.

John Leguizamo does a special camio as Rose, a drug dealer. Such a colorful character and perfectly cast.

The twists and turns are surprising and fun. I really got to laugh a few times through the film, and, yes this film has a very happy ending. The kind of ending that when you walk out of the theater, you are both pleased and satisfied with the conclusion.

There is only one aspect of the film that disappointed me, the use of drugs. If I were to remake this film, I’d take that out, and it would be the perfect film.