The Ultra program set up by the American Government was a program to take three strike offenders and make them covert operatives. The program failed and the mission was abandoned, the operatives set out into the community.
One of those operatives is now living in the small town of Liman, West Virginia. Mike Howell (Jesse Eisenberg) is a stoner working at the local convenience store and living with his girlfriend Phoebe Larson (Kristen Stewart). He’s looking to propose but just can’t find the right moment to.
His life is interrupted when the CIA decides to pull the pin and terminate the program, effectively ending his life in the process. Spear heading the mission to terminate him is Adrian Yates (Topher Grace) and his team of Tough Guy Agents. Trying to save his life is one rouge agent Victoria Lasseter (Connie Britton) who will stop at nothing to help him and keep her last remaining agent alive.
Once she activates him with a series of code words Mike becomes the killing machine that he was trained to be, eliminating the Tough Guy operatives one by one. At times he’s not even aware of his skill but he manages to thwart them all and come out on top.
American Ultra is slightly funny at times but not a laugh-a- minute kind of movie. Eisenberg seems to be type cast in these kinds of roles where he plays a hapless, pathetic loser with problems ( think Zombieland) but he does do it well. It’s a little bit of a different role for Stewart and it a departure from the intense role that she played for a number of years in the Twilight series.
Its a fairly middle of the road enjoyable movie that is easy enough to watch but never really takes off as a fully fledged comedy, not packing in a lot of laughs throughout. The biggest laugh is when he finally proposes he gets tazered at the same time. With a different actor the movie could have been a flop. Eisenberg manages to take the material and make the character his own with his unique acting style.