American Ultra is a story of a stoner – who is in fact a government agent – is marked as a liability and targeted for extermination. But he’s too well-trained and too high for them to handle.
If you’re not familiar to Max Landis’ writing, he’s known to take ideas that have been worn out and turning them on their heads in attempts to create something new. Although the story is nothing much, the idea of a stoner turned agent is enough to make you interested. And this works in the films favour – with it’s simplistic storyline, it has the ability to go crazy on everything else. It isn’t at all bogged down on exposition and can have fun with with the comedy and the one shot action sequence in a supermarket.
Kristen Stewart was by far the weakest link of the film and Eisenberg carried the film exceptionally. It was good to see him in another comedy. The film reminded me of Zombieland but with a weaker supporting cast and a story that did have it’s moments but otherwise was absurd. In it’s absurdity, the film kinda worked. It knew how strange it was and played to it.
The film could be seen as a cross between the television series CHUCK and aBourne film crossed over. It’s a mix of both drama, comedy, and action.American Ultra was well paced and the character development was enough to keep the audience interested, but don’t expect anything deep or thoughtful. It’s an off the cuff, lighthearted film with moments that definitely made it worthwhile. I’d really like to see a graphic novel of this film, if there already isn’t one.