I’d seen everything else due to start before half twelve (except Girl Who Kicked The Hornets Nest and I’ve not seen, or want to see, the one before it) so I opted to watch Unstoppable again. I missed the first 10 minutes when I caught it last week, so at least some of it would be new. It was still enjoyable the second time around, though not as good as the first screening.
“You cannot deny the existence of hell. You live in it. It is a place without love.”
Plot-in-a-nutshell: Mysterious American hitman/spy/something ends up in a peaceful Italian town with some dodgy Swedish people on his tail.
Based on Martin Booth‘s novel A Very Private Gentleman, the film finds “Jack” (George Clooney) fleeing to Italy to escape Swedish assassins, while preparing one final job. It’s never 100% clear what he does, though this final work seems to involve supplying a gun to another assassin rather than doing the deed himself.
It’s definitely a rather arty film, not the action spectacle you might expect. There are many scenes that just seem to be crammed together and often you’re left thinking “what’s going on? Why did he just do that?” – but at least it’s a film that makes you think rather than spoon-feeding the audience.
What I can say about the movie is that it is absolutely beautifully shot (director Anton Corbijn should take a bow), most of it in a small Italian town called Castel del Monte. If the Italian government were looking for a 105 minute tourism advert showing how gorgeous and historic parts of their country are, then they’d not go far wrong using this.
The rest of the cast are as good as can be expected, though I have to simply say: Violante Placido… *drool*. If I was allowed a “five famous people” list she’d be on it. Wow.
As I said, don’t expect huge explosions, spectacular car crashes and Bay-esque set pieces. This is a film about Clooney’s character rather than the events around him. The thing is, he’s such a private gentleman that it doesn’t make for a very interesting tale. Everything coasts along well enough, and there are little moments as the film builds to a decent near-ending… and a fairly weak final scene.
There are better films out at the moment, but if you want to see Italy at its most jaw-dropping then there’s nothing else to rival this one.
- Review: The American (thejc.com)
- The American – review (guardian.co.uk)
- FILM REVIEW Pretty but lacking in substance and suspense (tech.mit.edu)
- The American, review (telegraph.co.uk)
- The American (newstatesman.com)
- The American – review | Peter Bradshaw (guardian.co.uk)
- Unstoppable London Boulevard (moshblog.me.uk)