Review: American Ultra (2015)


After their successful pairing in Adventureland, Kristen Stewart and Jesse Eisenberg reunite for a ropey stoner comedy that coasts on their individual wits and chemistry rather than its own thrills. Perpetual stoner Mike (Eisenberg) – who is in fact a sleeper operative – has plans to propose to his girlfriend Phoebe (Stewart). But when he’s targeted for elimination, his program is activated, leaving him battling for survival. Written by Max Landis who last scripted Chronicle, American Ultra has one or two interesting ideas, but doesn’t do enough with them to raise it from merely serviceable to anything more. Its moderate charm and spirit can be put down to editing and clever back and forth as opposed to Nima Nourizadeh’s direction, which can be horribly coarse on the eye. As for the two leads, if it wasn’t for them (and supporting cast members Topher Grace and Connie Britton), American Ultra would be a lot less palatable than it is.

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