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American Night (2021) Review

Rent it


American Night is refreshingly different with some original ideas and some enjoyably bonkers action. It won’t be for everyone but it has its moments and is worth a watch when it hits Netflix.

Plot: Art and life collide in this stylish and wildly entertaining neo-noir thriller. When a highly coveted Andy Warhol painting suddenly surfaces, it triggers a chain reaction of danger-filled events for a colorful group of characters including: a forger turned art dealer (Jonathan Rhys Meyers); a mobster and painter (Emile Hirsch) with a penchant for scorpions; a seductive museum conservator (Paz Vega); and a stuntman and wannabe ninja (Jeremy Piven). Filled with daring double-crosses and surprising twists and turns, the race for the painting comes to an explosive conclusion…one American Night.

Review: American Night may sound like a generic title for a movie but this is a surprisingly original tale with a cast including Jonathan Rhys Myers, Paz Vega, Michael Madsen, Emile Hirsch and Jeremy Piven. It’s visually striking with lots of cool neon and imaginative set design; the fact that art is used to bring the story together is something I haven’t seen before in the genre.

As you’d expect with the cast it’s well acted and Jeremy Piven is entertaining as stuntman Vincent who thinks he is a ninja but Jonathan Rhys Meyers doesn’t disappoint either as art expert John Kaplan. This manages to be not only about art but is also a love story between Kaplan and his girl Sarah while also providing various twists and turns and of course several violent action set-pieces including shoot-outs and explosions. One scene involves someone falling asleep during a taxi chase which some will find funny but others will scratch their head…. I liked it though.

It almost feels like a stage play rather than a movie as everything looks like it is taking place on a set but I feel that was a deliberate move to give it a sort of hyper-real look.

I’m not sure how much rewatchability it has and I feel like it’s an acquired taste but as a one time watch I had fun and the visuals keep you glued to the screen.

Overall, American Night won’t be for everyone but I have a neon fetish so I couldn’t help but enjoy the ride.