American Ultra, film review

(15) Nima Nourizadeh, 96 mins Starring: Jesse Eisenberg, Kristen Stewart, Topher Grace
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The Independent Culture

This is a grating, sometimes very violent comedy-thriller that suffers from a chronic identity crisis. The film can't work out whether it's a slacker romance or an all-action spy movie in the Manchurian Candidate mode. Eisenberg and Stewart play Mike and Phoebe, a "perfectly fucked-up" slacker couple, living in West Virginia nowheres-ville. They look and behave as if they are on leave from a Kevin Smith movie. Mike can barely hold down a job, can't cook an omelette without starting a fire and has panic attacks if he so much as tries to go out of town. In fact, he is a sleeper agent, just waiting to be activated. Eisenberg and Stewart have an easy comic rapport but are badly let down by a script that requires them to be in two very different films at once.

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