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Alone among assassins, Jack is a master craftsman. When a job in Sweden ends more harshly than expected for this American abroad, he vows to his contact Pavel that his next assignment will be his last. Jack reports to the Italian countryside, where he holes up in a small town and relishes being away from death for a spell. The assignment, as specified by a Belgian woman, Mathilde, is in the offing as a weapon is constructed. Surprising himself, Jack seeks out the friendship of local priest Father Benedetto and pursues romance with local woman Clara. But by stepping out of the shadows, Jack may be tempting fate. Written by
The beginning of the film was shot in the north of Sweden. The Swedish county mentioned in the film is called Dalarna which is located in the middle of Sweden. However no scene was shot in that county. The county used for shooting is called Jemtland and is located in the north of Sweden. The newspaper Jack gets in his hand at a café in Italy is a Swedish newspaper. See more »
When Jack and Mathilde go to the river to test the new rifle, she asks, "Muzzle velocity?" Jack answers, "About 360 miles an hour. That's including about 20 miles an hour off with the sound suppression." A ballistics-savvy person like Jack would have answered in "feet (or, meters) per second." See more »
You know, I thought I maybe drive into town. You want something?
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The credits at the end are in order of appearance. However, the 3 hookers are listed in the order: Hooker #2, Hooker #3 and Hooker #1, which logically doesn't make sense. See more »
The American (2010), directed by Anton Corbijn, is a vehicle for the talents of George Clooney. Clooney is too tough, too handsome, and too much the strong, silent type to do well as a gentle, caring human being. Accordingly, director Corbijn has typecast him as a professional assassin.
Unfortunately for his character, Jack, "the Swedes" are after him. The film begins in a beautiful Scandinavian location where Jack avoids being killed, and kills his would-be assassins. Unfortunately, this causes him to commit an inexcusably violent crime against an innocent person. The attempt on his life also causes him to hide out in a small Italian village, where he is "The American."
In the village he meets three people. Two of them are pretty much from Central Casting--a kindly priest, played well by Paolo Bonacelli, and a hooker with a heart of gold, the beautiful Violante Placido. The third person's role is more surprising--Thekla Reuten, as Mathilde, surely the world's most attractive female professional assassin.
The plot isn't terribly creative and, in fact, it's somewhat confusing. However, the movie is worth seeing, in my opinion, for the excellent acting that Clooney brings to his role. He is a man who is never at ease, never at rest, and clearly no longer comfortable with his role as a hired killer and gunsmith for hired killers. He is always (literally) looking over his shoulder, and probably will be forever. Not a happy profession, and not a happy life.
Reviewers have remarked about the beautiful scenery in this movie, which I did not appreciate on the small screen. However, the acting and plot come across well enough on DVD. The film isn't worth seeking out, unless you have a particular interest in this genre. However, it has some episodes of intense action, and it's never boring.
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