No movie springs from a vacuum. There are always influences from past examples of the genre, from the previous work of the filmmakers and stars, even from similar films that don’t quite work. If you want to understand where a movie is coming from, take a look at where it’s coming from.
In The American, George Clooney’s murder-weary professional assassin mopes around rural mountain Italy while doing one last job before he’s out, out, he tells ya. This flick sprang from (among other films):
• Syriana (2005), for more of George Clooney as an exhausted spook; here he’s a burned CIA agent, a casualty of the ongoing oil wars.
• Control (2007), to see just how morose director Anton Corbijn can be; this is his biopic of Brit rock star Ian Curtis of Joy Division, who killed himself at the age of 23 — cheery!
• The Matador (2005), for an equally disillusioned hitman in a funnier movie; killer Pierce Brosnan meets salesman Greg Kinnear in Mexico City and unexpected things happen.
• Road to Perdition (2002), for Tom Hanks’ fed-up mob killer; he and Clooney would have a lot to discuss about how those one-last-jobs never seem to go well.
Where to buy:
Control [Region 1/U.S.] [Region 1/Can.] [Region 2]
The Matador [Region 1/U.S.] [Region 1/Can.] [Region 2]
Road to Perdition [Region 1/U.S.] [Region 1/Can.] [Region 2]
Syriana [Region 1/U.S.] [Region 1/Can.] [Region 2]