Did studio Lionsgate and Director Nima Nourizadeh leave anything out? Oh, yeah… the audience.
With an R-rating the film will be off-limits to anyone under the age of 17, who isn’t accompanied by a parent. That leaves out the most likely audience, high school and junior high students.
They’re the ones who would get off the most from the story-line, the sophomoric humor and video-game-scale violence. Whether kids in college will want to see the film is problematic and few adults over 25 could possibly be interested.
So that leaves the studio with a potential bomb on its hands before the film even hits the limited number of theaters willing to show R-rated films.
Of course, there’s always video and pay-per-view market, where this film seems likely to end up.
Eisenberg plays Mike, a hapless slacker who works at the Cash & Carry, until he is mistakenly “activated” by a secret agent. The problem is his skills are so deeply embedded in his subconscious even he can’t believe he’s a deadly killer.
Until, that is, he takes out two assassins with a spoon and shows off some slick martial arts skills.
Stewart plays his live-in girlfriend, Phoebe, who is sucked into the vortex of a major government effort to eliminate Mike, who hast. been branded a rogue agent. But the trailer provides a hint that Phoebe is also a highly trained killer.
The new trailer provides some more backstory for the film, with scenes from secret government facilities where the agents are trained.
“They could be your friend, your family or the person you least expect,” says a voice-over. You know, like joint-toking Mike. Yikes!
After that it’s an orgy of rattling machine guns, drone strikes, explosions, some gory hand-to-hand fighting and shots of Stewart and Eisenberg bloodied. Both are taken out with tasers.
“American Ultra” hits the big screen on Aug. 21.