Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Yawn Americans

I should be watching Space:1999 for British Invaders. It's a big show with lots of episodes to get through, but bad films keep getting in the way. The American, directed by Anton Corbijn and starring George Clooney.

Clooney is a semi-retired gunsmith/assassin drifting through Italy when he agrees to take on one last job and build a special gun for a mysterious female client. This is a strange and very dull film. Clooney divides his time between looking suspicious and looking pissed off. The life of a semi-retired gunsmith or assassin can't be terribly exiting even if he does get to sleep with a beautiful prostitute in a totally gratuitous and prolonged sex scene.

This is Corbijn's second film after Control, he is of course famous as rock photographer and at times The American does look like a sequence of still images more than a true moving picture. It also has two sequences that real stretch credulity. In the first Clooney visits an Italian car mechanic's garage and picks up some metal tubing, part of a gear box and a few steel washers. We then see him at his work bench apparently turning these odds and ends into an automatic rifle with a wooden stock and a huge silencer. It makes what the A-Team used to do with a garden hose and a few paint cans seem almost believable.

The other scene that doesn't make any sense at all does involve a major plot spoiler so if you don't want to know look away now, you have been warned.

OK, so it doesn't take a huge insight to work out that the target that the mysterious client wants the special gun for turns out be Clooney himself. It isn't explained why the "organisation" want him dead but let's play along with that for a moment. The bit that doesn't make sense is the scene in the middle of the film where Clooney meets the nameless hit-woman in a forest and gives her the gun for a test firing. She fires at a target and then asks Clooney to make some adjustments before final delivery. So what was she waiting for? She has a high powered rifle in her hands, and Clooney standing next to her in an isolated spot, so why doesn't she shoot him then instead of waiting until the complicated final scenes in a church parade through the streets of an Italian town? I suppose it is just possible that the mystery man that they both report to hasn't told her who her target will be at that point in the movie but still it does make the final twist seem a bit daft.

Anyway, this was just dull as dish-water. I need to find some good bad films soon. 1 out of 5 stars.
Now back to Space:1999 and those crimplene flared space uniforms.

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