American Ultra (Blu-ray) – Movie Review
Follow Genre: Action, Comedy
Director: Nima Nourizadeh
Distributor: eOne
Duration: 96 minutes

American Ultra (Blu-ray) – Movie Review

Site Score
Good: Witty, Kristen steps up her game, Brutal action scenes
Bad: Somewhat predictable at times
User Score
(2 votes)
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Rating: 8.5/10 (2 votes cast)

Kristen Stewart has made a name for herself, be it in the negative or positive sense, all thanks to the Twilight movies, which are still a hot topic on the internet. That aside, love or hate Twilight, Kristen is often considered to act without showing proper emotions and is seen as a novelty item in the aforementioned series rather than an actual star. That being said, those who originally had complaints, might have to watch the following flick, as acting without emotions is not possible here. Explosions, bullets soaring through the sky and a hefty amount of blood, without vampire fangs, are what defines American Ultra.

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Mike Howell (Jesse Eisenberg) is your typical ‘loser’ who does nothing with his life. He works a dull job at the local convenience store, while in his spare time he loves getting stoned or enjoying the occasional banquet of shrooms. Nonetheless, almost impossible to believe, Mike was able to score a loving, good-looking girlfriend, who puts up with him. That being said, we have to give credit where credit is due, Mike truly adores the love of his life, Phoebe Larson (Kristen Stewart), and he treats her with the utmost care and respect, and he tries to make her happy and improve himself in the process. Sadly, Mike suffers from panic attacks, making him unable to leave the city and due to this, he has to disappoint Phoebe, when he tries to take her to Hawaii. Before they know it, things are back to their old selves, and life goes on, one day at a time. They even get a rather rude welcome home from the local sheriff, who seemingly hates Mike’s guts. It’s good to be home…

In the meantime things are getting stirred up at the CIA, as Victoria Lasseter (Connie Britton) receives a dodgy phone call, that her sleeper agent is about to get disposed off, as he might become a liability in the future. As Victoria seemingly has an attachment to her secret project, who is unaware of his own capabilities, she is determined to take action. Seeing the one in charge of the project, Adrian Yates (Topher Grace), the CIA’s brown nose who received his promotion by sucking up to his superiors, is not willing to cancel the operation, she will have to activate the sleeper agent, who is none other than Mike Howell. Even though the activation did not go completely according to plan, Mike’s latent abilities are awakened and he immediately disposes of two attackers. While Mike is not aware of what is truly going on, he will have no time to rest until he liquidates all his pursuers or dies trying.

Overall the movie has a slow, clear buildup that truly sets the tone of the movie, as well as an image of the characters, which will be totally shattered during the movie, but in a positive sense, while keeping all the characters’ quirks intact. After the buildup, you’ll get tons of action, and rather violent scenes, which make the contrast between Mike’s original character and his actual skill set even larger, which in turn give the movie a comedic and brutal aspect. The overall slapstick humor, the denseness of the main character and the hefty action scenes make for a very amusing mix, with a few surprises along the way, while still implementing a hefty amount of predictable scenes and mushy moments.

Acting performances are quite solid, especially those of Jesse Eisenberg and Kristen Stewart, as the unlikely heroes in an action movie. Jesse’s regular appearance, as well as his character never scream out he would be able to kill a man with kitchen supplies, yet he does many surprising action scenes, which actually look quite natural when you see him perform them. Same can be said for Kristen, who surprises us with her character, which first seemed like yet another gloomy Bella, which then blossoms into a worthy heroine. Topher Grace still falls well within the boundaries of his role in That ‘70s Show, as a smartass, but unlike his original Goodie Two-shoes appearance, American Ultra brings out a hint of something darker, which in a way suits him.

Sadly, there were no extras to be found on the Blu-ray release, which is actually a shame as it would have been nice to see certain choreographies, or even a bit more information about Mike’s ‘comic book’ series he’s working on in the movie. Perhaps these would have been only minor special features, they would have been appreciated a lot.


American Ultra had all the signs it would turn out to be a very cliché movie, but ended up being something rather surprising, with a lot of humorous scenes, which quickly got followed by very bloody action sequences, which were not short of amazing. If you’re looking for something with a simple, yet interesting plot, while getting bombarded with amusing scenes, this movie is the way to go.

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Rating: 8.5/10 (2 votes cast)
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American Ultra (Blu-ray) - Movie Review, 8.5 out of 10 based on 2 ratings

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