It was back in 2009 that Jesse Eisenberg and Kristen Stewart first joined forces on the big screen, playing male and female leads in Greg Mottola’s period, coming-of-age tale Adventureland. After a number of years apart, now the two actors are coming back together, but instead of playing two young people falling in love against the backdrop of a low-rent amusement park, this time around they’re dodging bullets and kicking all kinds of ass in director Nima Nourizadeh’s American Ultra.
Based on an original screenplay by Max Landis (Chronicle), American Ultra tells the story of Mike Howell (Eisenberg) – a stoner convenience store clerk who finds his happiness in the love he shares with his girlfriend, Phoebe (Stewart). What Mike doesn’t know, however, is that he was actually at one point part of a secret government program that turned him into a sleeper agent. When he is "activated" by Victoria Lasseter (Connie Britton), he not only finds himself thrown into a world of confusion, but also finds a target painted on his back.
Along with a small group of other movie reporters, I had the fantastic opportunity to visit the set of the new movie while it was in production in New Orleans last year, and during my stay I learned a great deal about the upcoming action-comedy. With the film now just a couple of months away from release, I now have the pleasure of sharing what I learned with you, so let’s dive head-first into the world of American Ultra, shall we?
Jesse Eisenberg’s Character Has One Very Specific Mission In The FilmIn a movie about secret CIA programs, sleeper agents, and over-the-top action, you’d expect that the main motivation of the protagonist would be some kind of revenge plot, or an unstoppable search for truth, but American Ultra actually always comes back to something completely different: love.
As we get to know Jesse Eisenberg’s Mike Howell at the start of the film, he gets a wedding ring that he plans to use to propose to Kristen Stewart’s Phoebe… but unfortunately this big step happens to come at the exact time that his life begins to go completely insane. Eisenberg explained,
Everything blows up in his life and he keeps the ring in his pocket throughout the movie, and he keeps looking for little moments. But then people keep trying to kill him so he keeps being interrupted. It’s really sweet, and he has like no tact, so the times he chooses to propose throughout the movie are the worst possible times.
As they say: true commitment is still wanting to propose to your girlfriend after you’ve been force to kill some dudes with a spoon.