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MOVIE REVIEW: Can “American Ultra” Turn Jesse Eisenberg Into an Action Hero?

One of the perks of being a Film Critic is that I get to take friends to the movie screenings with me. They love it and usually repay me with cocktails afterwards. Sometimes though, I can’t FIND anyone to see a movie with me because no one is interested in it. That was the case with American Ultra, so I had to see it alone. One friend even said, “The one with Kristen Stewart? Ugh, PASS!” That surprised me because I was excited about this movie. I’ve been a fan of Jesse Eisenberg ever since Zombieland and American Ultra seemed like the perfect vehicle for his talents.

Eisenberg plays Mike, a hapless stoner who is perfectly content working at a small town convenient store. He lucked into a gorgeous stoner-girlfriend named Phoebe (Stewart), who is way out of his league but takes care of him anyway. They live in slacker Utopia until the day Mike is “activated” and his past as a Sleeper Agent comes back to haunt him. This is where the fun really kicks in because Mike is even more surprised by his new skills than the audience. Mike and Phoebe don’t have time to explore them though because someone wants to kill them both and time is running out. Continue reading →