30 seconds into the trailer for this movie I leaned over to my friend and said "Borne Identity with a Pineapple Express twist." About a month later I found myself at the same theater about to watch American Ultra. Naturally I expected this to be a stoner version of Borne Identity, what I did not expect was that it would be a GOOD stoner version of Borne Identity!
I didn't plan to see this movie in theaters because my impression of the trailer left me feeling like it would be a possible rental but certainly not anything I would spend theater money on. Luckily I did end up seeing it because the trailer does not do justice to this movie.
As the trailer suggests, Jesse Eisenberg plays Mike, a youngish convenience store clerk with a way-too-good-for-him live in girlfriend named Phoebe, played by Kristen Stewart. Their uneventful lives consist of smoking pot and hanging out until a government agent finds Mike at work and triggers him with code words revealing to Mike that he is a secret sleeper agent and people are coming to kill him. Mike and Phoebe spend the rest of the movie saving each others lives time and again from the relentless hit squads sent to finish them off.
Sounds pretty straight forward, I know. Without giving any spoilers let me just say that there are a couple decent twists throughout the movie and a surprising amount of depth towards the end. Best performance I have seen from Kristen Stewart since Into the Wild. Topher Grace is both funny and believable as the bad guy. Also the movie has a truly spectacular ending fight sequence.
Even though American Ultra did deliver in ways that I did not expect, it was far from perfect. It is clear that this movie was supposed to be funny. It has it's moments but in terms of action comedies it is far from being Hot Fuzz.
Nerbot Original Review