KATIE PICKRELL//KELSEY PHARIS
“American Ultra” lit up theaters over the past weekend and, despite my thought that it was a great movie, burnt out pretty fast.
The movie follows a druggie gas station clerk, Mike Doyle (Jesse Eisenberg), and the love of his life, Pheobe (Kristen Stewart). Contrary their simple chronological beginnings, the movie never lets you assume that there isn’t something much bigger going on. Utilizing the let’s-begin-at-the-end technique, the movie progresses as someone telling a story rather than leaving the audience with too much to the imagination.
Even though “Ultra” might have used this method, there was enough substance behind the plot to leave the audience confused and wondering what exactly is going on. No one, including the characters, understands who anyone is– and that’s one of the best aspects of the film.
Eisenberg and Stewart were a hit on screen, letting their characters ultimately fade out of their minds and into their actions. Despite Stewart’s critics who have repetitively called her emotionless and bland, she’s anything but. Her and Eisenberg have great onscreen chemistry that makes it seem like they could be a couple in real life.
“Ultra” includes action and comedy without overpowering one or the other. Scenes of splattered blood at a cop-station shoot outs are easily offset by Doyle simply pointing his enemy in the direction of another gun leaving the audience to think “how high can this guy really be?”
Even though the story itself seemed above average and the duo of Stewart and Eisenberg was beyond epic, the movie finished dead last at the box office over the weekend. Beat out by movies like “Mission Impossible” and “Sinister 2,” “Ultra” screenwriter Max Landis went on a bit of a rant over the movie’s treatment.
“Am I wrong? Are original ideas over?” Landis questioned via Twitter. “I wanted to pose this to the public, because I feel, put lightly, confused.” Landis’ rant was far from out of place and raises a good question to the general public.
Regardless of receiving fairly good reviews and fan approval, “Ultra” was pushed back behind movies with ratings as low as 10 percent on IMdB and Rotten Tomatoes.
The film may not have been the best hit of the summer movie season, but it was one of my personal favorites. Going up against a slew of sequels and reboots, it was no doubt the most original and creative film of the summer. I would have to give it 4.5 stars out of five.