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Mace & Crown | March 21, 2018

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Espionage in Review

By: Daniel Felarca

From surgeon to superhero, George Clooney has always remained in the sight of audiences all over the world. Adapted from the 1990 novel A Very Private Gentleman, Clooney’s latest foray into the world of cinema, “The American” (opening September 1st at a theater near you), is a complex and crafty, yet subdued tale of one man’s futile attempts to avoid the past.

After botching a job in Sweden, Jack (Clooney) seeks asylum in the peaceful Italian countryside. He is relieved by the quiet break from his austere job and settles down in the visually entrancing Italian town of Castelvecchio, where he quickly adjusts and builds new relationships. Most notably is his connection with the beautiful Clara (Violante Placido), with whom he quickly falls in love. This relaxing retreat is short-lived, however, as Jack learns that his violent past is beginning to catch up with him, and is tasked with yet another job. Says the local priest (Paolo Bonacelli) to the assassin, “You’re American. You think you can escape the past.”

Director Anton Corbijn brings old-school motion pictures back to the forefront of cinema, and lets the audience know that yes, the aged approach to film still works. Clooney’s performance as the cold and calculating Jack is a far cry from his familiar portrayal of the lighthearted and jovial Danny Ocean. Quite frankly, it’s a breath of fresh air. If the riveting narrative, charming characters, or urbane action sequences of “The American” aren’t enough to convince you to buy a ticket, then perhaps you could just feast your eyes on the absolutely beautiful Italian landscapes in the film (or, if you so desire, you could just feast your eyes on George Clooney).

“The American” is rated R for violence, sexual content and nudity. Run time: 105 minutes. Three stars out of four.

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