When audiences think of a stoner movie they might normally think of comedies such as “The Big Lebowski,” “Cheech and Chong’s Up In Smoke,” or the “Harold and Kumar” movies. However audiences might never have expected a humorous action spy film out of the cannabis movie industry. Director Nima Nourizadeh’s new film, “American Ultra” brings audiences a new kind of stoner comedy to laugh at.
The plot of “American Ultra” is about Mike Howell (Jesse Eisenberg), a stoner convenient store clerk who lives in West Virginia. The store is visited one night by CIA agent, Victoria Lasseter (Connie Britton) who says a sequence of code words that Mike doesn’t understand and then exits the store. Later outside of the store, Mike is attacked by two undercover agents he had seen messing with his car, which he quickly overpowers and kills. Realizing what he has done without having the slightest idea of how he did it, Mike calls his longtime stoner girlfriend, Phoebe Larson (Kristen Stewart) for help.
With memories slowly coming back to him, Mike remembers that he is a highly trained sleeper agent and now has been awakened into the midst of a deadly government operation where he is the targeted operate. While Mike must try to survive the onslaught of government threats, he must also find a way to propose to Phoebe before it’s too late.
The actors in the movie are fantastic as Kristen Stewart plays decently as a snarky girl who genuinely cares for her boyfriend. Jesse Eisenberg also does well as he has some of the funniest scenes of his character reacting to the things that he does from his past training. His character is very much like one of his previous roles as the character Ohio in “Zombieland,” where the character was awkward and twitchy but funny and relatable.
While this film does hit a lot of good marks it stills has its problems. For instance, its plot is identical to the “Bourne” film series. Both films plots are about an agent who has amnesia and finds out their identity as a highly trained past CIA agent. Another issue this film has is while the comedy is good, there is a lacking amount of it, whereas there are a lot more action scenes and exposition.
Though the film is lacking in comedy, what comedy there was in the movie was hilarious to a good extent. The scene where he kills the two undercover operatives is one of the funniest because he does it with only a cup of ramen and a spoon. The blatant realization on Eisenberg’s face seals the scene and the humor magnificently.
With all of this said, while “American Ultra” has its flaws, it is still a fun stoner movie to just watch and have a good laugh. If you loved the “Harold and Kumar” films then you will most definitely like this film. “American Ultra” gets the rating of 4.0/5