American Ultra

First Hit:  The abilities of Jesse Eisenberg and Kristen Stewart made this film work.

When we are introduced to Mike (Eisenberg) he sits bloodied and being questioned by a law enforcement officer.

Then we quickly reel back to where his voice over tells the audience that he is a major screw-up. He gets high all the time, he’s afraid to leave his town. He works at a “Cash and Carry” convenience store in a small, sleepy, and uneventful town. He lives with his girlfriend Phoebe (Stewart) who seems to really care about him and doesn’t seem to mind Mike’s inabilities to function at a very high level.

What we end up learning that Mike and Phoebe are both CIA agents, with Mike being a secret weapon. He’s in hibernation, but when he becomes activated he’s a killing machine. Supervising CIA Agent Adrian Yates (Topher Grace) decides he want to eliminate Mike and begins a plan kill him with his own brand of psychologically modified agents. Protecting Mike and Phoebe is Agent Victoria Lasseter (Connie Britton) who activates Mike so that he can protect himself. Some of the funniest scenes are short scenes with Mike’s friend Rose (John Leguizamo).

Eisenberg is perfect for this role, introverted, intense, physically adept and fully in-charge of his character. Stewart is wonderful as the agent who falls in love with the person she was assigned to protect. Their chemistry and interaction is wonderful. Grace is very good as the guy trying to make a name for himself. Britton is good as the protecting agent. Leguizamo is fantastic as Mike odd-ball, drug dealing friend. Max Landis wrote a strong, interesting and funny script. Nima Nourizadeh did a wonderful job of making the script come alive with action and dark comedy.

Overall:  I enjoyed the ways kitchen items can be used to create harm.