Capsule reviews for Aug. 3

Assassin’s Bullet

Make a list of international thriller cliches, and most of them are bound to pop up somewhere in this incoherent low-budget project that tells the story of a former FBI investigator (Christian Slater) called into action by the U.S. ambassador to Bulgaria (Donald Sutherland) to solve a series of vigilante murders involving high-profile terrorists. The script (conceived by co-star Elika Portnoy as a sort of misguided vanity project) and direction are equally inept, with a series of overwrought action sequences and ludicrous plot twists that come suspiciously close to parody. At least you can tell they bothered to film it on location. (Rated R, 89 minutes).

 

Celeste and Jesse Forever

This romantic comedy puts a fresh spin on the genre by starting with its main characters on the brink of divorce. Celeste (Rashida Jones) runs a successful media consulting firm while Jesse (Andy Samberg) is unemployed. The former high school sweethearts agree to remain friends even as they grow apart romantically. Their friends still recognize the spark, yet the couple splits and each starts dating other people, wondering if their decision was right or wrong. There are some moments of heartfelt charm, but the two main characters aren’t very likeable and their relationship dynamics feel contrived. The cast includes Elijah Wood and Emma Roberts. (Rated R, 89 minutes).

 

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