‘American Ultra’: Stoner Flick Not That Dope, Called ‘A Total Mess’

The reviews for American Ultra have come in, and it’s not looking too good for the film. As previously reported via the Inquisitr, the reviews have been slowly trickling in — and they were mixed. Now it looks like more reporters and movie watchers are being increasing critical about the stoner action comedy.

American Ultra follows Mike Howell (Jesse Eisenberg) and his girlfriend Phoebe Larson (Kristen Stewart) in a small town until their lives change. Mike reveals to Phoebe that he’s a sleeper agent and he has to take on a secret government mission. American Ultra is supposed to be funny because Mike has to keep on his toes since he’s a well-known stoner who writes a graphic novel about a superhero monkey. Now Mike has to learn how to unleash his inner superhero as he tries to save himself and his girlfriend from this dangerous government mission.

Movie critics aren’t finding American Ultra as dope as it’s made out to be. Instead of checking out the flick at the movies, they’d rather watch free movies at home. Sara Stewart of the New York Post feels like she’s been sold a fake batch of marijuana.

“But the film flubs its best assets — Eisenberg, Stewart and Grace — who don’t get to play up what’s most entertaining about their characters. Mike spends more time in droopy existential quandary than he does in hand-to-hand combat or stoned befuddlement, finding his footing only in the film’s brief coda. I walked out feeling I’d been sold a cinematic bag of oregano.”

The Los Angeles Times agrees that American Ultra needs more “dope” in its weed-laced flick. Reporter Mark Olsen also says that the movie lacks smarts and humor. Like Sara Stewart, Olsen feels like he’s been handed a bad batch of marijuana after coming out of the theater.

“‘American Ultra’ could be goofier and crazier, both smarter and dopier than it turned out. (As well as in need of better drug jokes.) The movie winds up like a crummy bag of weed that looks better than it is and brings more of a woozy headache than a true high.”

The problem with this movie is that it doesn’t explain Mike’s top secret mission. The secret program that he supposedly is in is never explained to the audience. He just says that “things went wrong.” It looks like American Ultra also went wrong when it came to making a stoner action flick.

Stephen Silver of the Patch doesn’t hold back and use marijuana references in his review. Instead, he calls American Ultraa total mess.”

“‘American Ultra’ is a mess in which it’s hard to decide what makes less sense — the plot or the action. That it wastes an impressive collection of very good actors just adds to the sadness.”

If fans want to see Kristen Stewart and Jessie Eisenberg share the screen, then they should watch the sweet coming-of-age comedy Adventureland from 2009. Those who love to watch stoners take part in action movies don’t need American Ultra. They can just watch The Pineapple Express from 2009, which has been hailed as the perfect American stoner comedy flick directed by David Gordon Green. Fans can watch both movies online.


Despite the mixed reactions, there have been positive reviews about the film. Teo Bugbee of the Daily Beast believes that American Ultra gets rid of the cliches that stoners are lazy and spaced out. In fact, the flick may change people’s views on stoners and marijuana legalization advocates in light of the current political issues. Yes, they may wear flannel shirts and smell funny, but they’re no different from you or me.

What are your thoughts on American Ultra? Did it leave you feeling like you were sold a cheap bag of weed? Are you still planning to check out the flick this weekend despite its bad reviews? Share your thoughts below in the comments section.

[Image by Lionsgate Pictures]

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