Posted on August 23, 2015
@Genrist Bottom Line: Go see this movie.
There are a lot of people working in Hollywood right now but there are only a few who are having any fun. They’re the ones who remember what it was like to be a kid in the fifth row of a movie theater when the lights went down, that rush of angst and desire that flooded through their bodies, that sense of hope for wonder and adventure, and the dread of unimaginable horrors that would follow the trailers.
If you’ve ever heard Max Landis (son of John Landis who directed, yes, Animal House) pitch an idea (and you can hear him do just that by clicking this link) you will find yourself blinded by the light that shines from a pure, unadulterated love of movies.
This can be a little bit much for those who aren’t like minded, people who go to the movies to blow off steam or catch a quick nap, but if you truly love movies and you remember what it was like when those lights went down, you will get why Max is considered such a cinematic genius even before he’s really done very much.
The most important thing that people forget when making an action movie is that they’re supposed to be fun. The difference between Die Hard and a hundred Direct to Video action movies is the characters and the humor and the inventiveness. It’s not a matter of having an explosion every three pages, no matter what studio executives believe.
American Ultra is populated by some wonderful characters played by some wonderful actors like Jesse Eisenberg, Kristen Stewart, Topher Grace, John Leguizamo and Connie Britton (a cast like that for a movie like this tells us that, at the very least, it started out as an excellent script).
It starts with a bang, it moves fast, it’s funny, it’s scary and it’s heart breaking. And its voice is unique because it was written by Max Landis.
I would say Matthew Vaughn (Kick-Ass, Kingsman), Edgar Wright (Scott Pilgrim) and Max Landis are the most original voices in action films today. Their work puts the regular shoot-’em-ups to shame.
Give me a Kick-Ass or a Scott Pilgrim or an American Ultra over Age of Ultron any day.
Go see this movie. Seriously, why are you still sitting there?