Ricky is a cold-blooded U.S. German contract killer. After serving in Viet Nam, he returns to his home town of Munich to eliminate a few problem crooks for three renegade cops. He inspects ... See full summary »
Ricky is a cold-blooded U.S. German contract killer. After serving in Viet Nam, he returns to his home town of Munich to eliminate a few problem crooks for three renegade cops. He inspects his old neighborhood with his childhood accomplice Franz Walsch, and pays a short visit to his mother and doting brother. When Ricky asks the hotel clerk for a girl, one of the cops sends his girlfriend Rosa. However, she falls for the killer. Written by
American SOLDIER is certainly not among Fassbinder's greatest works. Fassbinder's oeuvre demands that his actors 'pose' rather than 'act'. Ordinarily, a successful dramatic performance allows the viewer to forget that an actor is 'pretending', but that one is witnessing a real depiction of emotions and reactions. However, Fassbinder strives for the converse of this process. He seems to aim for an almost militant lack of affectation, and his actors strike stylized poses which only represent authentic emotions. It's almost like German Kabuki Theater. It would seem that this form of acting technique would lend itself very well to the genre of Gangster Noir, but this film definitely missed the mark. The tale of three rogue police detectives who employ the skills of a heartless American Vietnam veteran is bogged down in an untidy avalanche of wacky details. Odd monologues, pointless car trips, enigmatic phone calls, and arguably the weirdest final scene ever brought to film, do not advance the storyline, but only confuse and perplex the viewer. Fassbinder's more successful films created surreal hyper-realities, but American SOLDIER only conveyed a feeling of disconnected opaqueness. Only for Die Hard Fassbinder Fans.
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