Trailer Talk: ‘The American’


At the beginning of the trailer for “The American,” Jack (George Clooney), an assassin, tells his boss over the phone that he “wants out.” His boss promises him he can be done with the whole killin’ people business after one last job in Italy. “You don’t even have to pull the trigger,” promises Larry (Bruce Altman). Do I smell foreshadowing?

Jack goes to Italy for his last job but doesn’t stay hidden in the shadows like he’s supposed to. He befriends a priest (Paolo Bonacelli) and starts dating an Italian woman (Violante Placido). He also spends time constructing a weapon.

The almost one-and-a-half minute trailer gives us beautiful shots of Italy, lots of close-ups of this weapon, a few trite lines and some shirtless Clooney … but not much else. No clues are given as to what exactly Jack’s mission is … although we do know that the Belgians are involved. However, if you’ve read Martin Booth’s 1990 novel “A Very Fine Gentleman,” you might have a clue — Anton Corbijn’s movie is based on this book.

Sometimes lack of information in a trailer can frustrate and alienate a viewer; other times, it can entice a moviegoer to see the film. This trailer had the latter effect on me. I’m intrigued to find out more about “The American.”

Catch Clooney in all his silver-foxed glory in “The American,” hitting theaters on Sept. 1.

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