Miss NBC’s Chuck? Lionsgate has your fix this summer with American Ultra, an action-comedy in which Jesse Eisenberg plays a hapless stoner who discovers he’s a secretly programmed sleeper agent when government agents arrive to wipe him out.
The latest trailer uses a lot of the same footage shown in Lionsgate’s last preview for the August release, but it emphasizes the strength of the relationship between Mike (Eisenberg) and his equally stoned girlfriend Phoebe (Kristen Stewart), who gets roped into Mike’s battle for survival when highly trained operatives come after her as well. We’ve already seen the terrific, cutesy chemistry between Eisenberg and Stewart in coming-of-age dramedy Adventureland, but it will be fascinating to throw karate kicks into the mix and see how that changes matters.
Written by Max Landis (Chronicle) and directed by Nima Nourizadeh (Project X), American Ultra looks like it has the potential to become one of this summer’s biggest breakthrough hits. The wackiness of the premise combined with what looks like some stellar action sequences and Eisenberg’s confused mug grounding the whole thing seems like a recipe for success. And the supporting cast, which includes Connie Britton, Topher Grace, John Leguizamo, Walton Goggins, Bill Pullman and Tony Hale, certainly doesn’t hurt matters.
Here’s the official synopsis:
A stoner and his girlfriend’s sleepy, small-town existence is disrupted when his past comes back to haunt him in the form of a government operation set to wipe him out.
American Ultra opens August 21. It’s releasing one week after Guy Ritchie’s Comic Con-teased spy caper The Man From U.N.C.L.E. as well as NWA biopic Straight Outta Compton, as well as directly against Fox’s Hitman: Agent 47 and low-key apocalyptic romance-drama Z For Zachariah, so it may be hard-pressed to top the box office, but there’s a certain audience that I suspect is going to eat this movie up and certainly allow it to do well enough to satiate Lionsgate.