America Ultra is the classic tale of two stoners who fall in love, only to find out that they are part of a secret CIA task that unleashes a man hunt in a small US town. Ok it may not be a classic tale, but it certainly makes for quite an entertaining movie.
The movie stars Jesse Eisenberg as Mike Howell, a stoner convenience store worker who has been dating his girlfriend, Phoebe Larson (Kristen Stewart), for the last five years. When the government decides that one of their prized recruits has become a liability, they send everyone they can to track him down and eliminate him.
However, when Victoria Lasseter (Connie Britton), activates him, all hell breaks loose. What follows is a comedic version of the Bourne Trilogy, with Howell flashing into his CIA agent powers whenever he is in the middle of a precarious situations. Highlights from the various action scenes include deaths with a soup and spoon, a great grocery store fight, and Howell using a frying pan in quite a unique way.
The villian of the movie is Adrian Yates (Topher Grace), a weaselly agent who, according to Lasseter, “kissed the right ass” to get to the top. Grace has played the snarky, annoying villian type in the past (Predators and Spider Man 3), and frankly, it’s getting a bit old for me. However, he definitely succeeded of the goal was to create that annoying type of villain, as it builds up to the climax where he gets what’s coming to him.
While there are a few subjects that could have been explained more, the movie overall does what it promises to deliverer on: providing a unique angle on the classic action comedy archetype. Eisenberg is once again brilliant when it comes to the subtle physical nuisances in his character, a characteristic that proved useful in his past work in The Social Network and Now You See Me. And Stewart compliments him well on screen, providing an engageing performance during the emotional times, with a believable romantic relationship in the build up to the action.
Overall, American Ultra has the potential to be a cult classic to a certain generation of stoners who have dreams of being a Jason Bourne type assassin. Because, in the end, haven’t we all wanted to be Jason Bourne?
What did you think of Amercian Ultra? Let us know in the comments!