Saturday, 5 September 2015
REVIEW: AMERICAN ULTRA
96 Minutes. Starring: Jesse Eisenberg, Kristin Stewart, Topher Grace, John Leguizamo, Connie Britton, Walton Goggins & Bill Pullman. Director: Nima Nourizadeh.
'Ultraviolence' like a Lana Del Ray album is a contact high in this new stoner cold, guns-blazing action comedy starring Mr. Eisenberg and Jessie's on-screen girl Kristin Stewart, for their new 'Adventureland' that is all bullets and brains, long hair, too high to care, freebasing fun. Dynamite director Nima Nourizadeh's age of 'Ultra' is a refreshing reinvention of everything action-comedy in a sleuth of spy films this year ('Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation', 'The Man From U.N.C.L.E.' and of course the aptly named; 'Spy') that are almost slumbering down to a sloth pace and place, joining those old stoner 'Pineapple Express' comedies that are a few totes away from being doped and all strung out. Although here the creed is more assassin for this undercover agent with a special set of skills that has now taken to a life up on Cypress Hill after being declassified and de-programmed like he's been 'Men In Black' flashy thinged. Now how's that for a split personality? Kind of like Eisenberg's take in 'The Double'. Here Jessie plays just a small town, West Virginia boy, decked out in attire that looks like the 'Back To The Future' costume department went clothes shopping with a lumberjack, with a haircut that only the 'Rock Of Ages' mothers could love . Now the man who has over taken Michael Cera to be the King of Geeks in this American 'Dynamite', 'Big Bang' age and superhero generation goes beyond a typical typecast mere months before he shows and we're sure proves his long locks can take on the bald identity of Superman's greatest adversary Lex Luther in D.C's new Marvel battling 'Batman v Superman' movie in their upcoming 'Dawn Of Justice'.
This kid is anything but kryptonite making 'Ultra' super. As a matter of fact, at 31 years of age Jesse Eisenberg is old enough and more than talented enough to be a Lutheran. Here playing a weedy, post-teen kidult with a Matt Damon memory for his hand-to-hand, 007 alter-ego shaking and stirring lifestyle, you can almost see the transformation from his old, bread and butter genre to the knifes point of his new one. Eisenberg has already shown us just how wide his range is as Zuckerberg for all you Facebook friends that saw the Academy Award nominated nod in 'The Social Network' and now this socially-awkward character brings all the anxiety and action to a more complex characterization before what arguably may be his most challenging role yet. Critics better panic, you don't just have to worry about the red capes coming. If you didn't think this so-called "geek" that still got to take Mia Wasikowska to the prom couldn't go toe-to-toe with the big guns of the comic books he collects then read all about this and just watch. With amazing action at a 'Kingsman' class (oh no not another spy movie...the best of the year mind...in any genre) Jesse shows you in '30 Minutes Or Less' that he's not just send-up funny...but stand-up formidable. Pull those punches. Did you forget the cocky tricks of his charismatic trade in 'Now You See Me' like a sleight of hand? Do you really have to wait for 'The Second Act'? Dudes magic and in one super, supermarket scene of sweeping aisle to aisle action that could even be the great 'Equalizer' to Denzel Washington's warehouse utility store showdown, Eisenberg kicks the ass of every clown in a moment reminiscent of his 'Zombieland'. Beaten and bloodied beyond this films teenage welcoming certificate he could pass as the undead too. But on 100% power this guys never been more alive. All that's missing is Woody Harrelson and his banjo. Straight outta Costco with a frying pan, your new Luthor is fire!
Playing for keeps this indie inspired, big-budget blazing action film doesn't let the hell up! Want more? How about 'Snow White'? Now those who thought young, vampire generation megastar Kristin Stewart was at the 'Twilight' of her career are as wrong as vampires that sparkle in the sun. Blazing hot in this explosive joint epic, she is the firecracker to Eisenberg's trunk load of fireworks, breaking a whole new dawn to her young acting career. Punked and peroxided out to punctuated perfection. After showing she could really act in Julianne Moore's novel academy moment of 'Still Alice', Stewart proves jut how versatile she really is. If Jesse is the big hero than the girl Kristin is the wonder woman behind this good man. That isn't it either for this 'American' dream casting, 'Nashville' star Connie Britton rocking out with a shotgun and 'Interstellar's' Topher Grace acting up as a total douche are aces. Whilst Walton Goggins is smoking to as a pysho assassin, laughing through a lisp and missing more teeth than the aftermath of walking with 'Django' in the pale moonlight. Need anything else to hold your hand? Then the guy that's in everything; John Leguizamo is on evergreen, ever-ready, scene-stealing form in a hilarious homage to that friendly, neighbourhood drug-dealer that helps out like the on-screen best friend, just like the loaded up 'John Wick' he is. Here glittering in comedy gold and a shiny shell suit, finally without a Hollywood stereotypical, script typecast name. This time, this drug-dealer rocks the name...erm Rose. But boy does he pull it off. He blooms! Even 'Independence Day' president Bill Pullman is here to make it all official with a closing speech for a film that won't go quietly into the 7-Eleven convenience store, graveyard shift night. Even in the wake me up days of September this just blazes, giving you the movie munchies. Lets face it you could do a lot worse on a Friday night with a pot of kettle boiled noodles and a spoon. TIM DAVID HARVEY.