The crime films of Samuel Fuller, Howard Hawks, and Raoul Walsh serve as reference points for Fassbinder's The American Soldier, a manic-depressive, hyperbolic hommage to the American gangster movie that recalls the director's earlier Gods of the Plague. After serving with the American forces in Vietnam, a young German returns to Munich, where he is hired by three policemen to carry out a series of extralegal killings. Relentlessly moody and neurotic, punctuated by off-beat Brechtian interruptions, and quoting from Fassbinder films past and future, The American Soldier builds to an astonishing slow-motion climax — a shoot-out amidst the anonymous baggage lockers of a train station — that is as delirious a sequence as any in the director's considerable oeuvre. "This film marks a decisive step towards ‘real’ Fassbinder: the absurdity of its world of second-hand experience invests every cliché with a meaning it never had before" (Tony Rayns, Time Out). “Audacious and technically brilliant’ (Roger Ebert). B&W, 35mm, in German with English subtitles. 80 mins.
"This film marks a decisive step towards 'real' Fassbinder."Time Out | full review
"The film has a languorous, dreamlike pace, a feeling of slow motion."New York Times | full review