‘American Ultra’ Red-Band Trailer: Jesse Eisenberg Gets Stoned and Kills a Bunch of Guys
Watching the American Ultra trailer, it‘s easy to imagine the quick pitch that sold everyone on this project. What if you merged The Bourne Identity with a stoner comedy? And made it so violent and filthy that it required a NSFW red-band preview to properly sell its contents? Oh, and what if it stars Jesse Eisenberg as the world’s least likely black ops assassin and Kristen Stewart as his girlfriend? Yeah, American Ultra certainly looks nutty.
But does it look like a good kind of nutty? Sort of. Maybe. The idea of a small-town stoner actually being an amnesiac killer capable to taking out squads of soldiers sent to kill him between bong hits is certainly amusing. More importantly, we’ve seen this blend of ultra-violent action and stoner comedy before with Pineapple Express, so it can work. It helps that the two leads here are actual actors (a proper Adventureland reunion!) who should be able to create actual characters out of the silliness around them. It’s also helpful that they’re surrounded by the likes of Bill Pullman, Walton Goggins, Connie Britton, John Leguizamo, Tony Hale, and even Topher Grace, who, much to our surprise, we’re genuinely happy to see again. That may be the best cast ever assembled for an stoner flick.
The biggest question mark here is director Nima Nourizadeh, whose only previous feature is the absolutely dire Project X. Surely it helps that he seems to be directing an actual screenplay this time around, but he’s always going to be the guy who directed Project X until he finds a way to shake that off ... and American Ultra is going to have to be really, really good to shake that off.
American Ultra will hit theaters on August 21, 2015.