Is George Clooney lonely? Feeling disconnected? Because in his last big film, Up in the Air, he played a man who kept moving in order to avoid human connections and now, in The American, he plays Jack, a gunmaker and assassin for hire, whose very job requires that he has no friends.
Call me, George. I can help.
Of course, Up in the Air’s Ryan Bingham was a charming smoothie (Clooney was able to expose the pain beneath his cavalier veneer). But The American’s Jack is more like a ghost—a man whose very economy of gesture and speech is key to his survival. It’s a strange role for Clooney to play, although I guess he’s trying to prove that he doesn’t need to do the Cary Grant thing to be a movie star. It’s true, the taciturn paranoid Jack is mesmerizing—it’s the film that left me cold.
As The American starts, Jack is living in a remote Swedish cabin with his sweetie. She knows nothing about him, as evidenced by the fact that, when they get shot at by snipers from afar, she’s shocked to discover that...