It’s a curious thing. All sorts of little clicky sounds are normally irritating. As, the intermittent clatter of dishes and spoons from the next room. Only … perhaps the annoyance does not inhere in the raw sound, but is relative to the surrounding ideation.
For: One of the “audially erotic” tricks of cinema, is the quick precision k-L!CK of precise metal gunparts, snapping into place, in the hands of an expert. This gimmick is used with expertise in the somewhat underrated film “The American”. Here George Clooney plays the role analogous to that of Edward Fox in “Day of the Jackal”, but more engagingly. Fox has the odor of dishwater, somehow; Clooney can be vibrantly charismatic, but here wisely abstains from any fireworks, given his role as a deeply undercover guy: a discretion exactly parallel to that of the other Seven-Arts god Ben Affleck, in “Argo”, for quite the same reasons.
Anyhow, the Cklick; Cklack; of the sniper-rifle parts,
parallel but surpass those of the “Jackal”.
In the end, however, such slick tricks are mechanical and empty: so proves the film to be. The looks and sounds are expertly produced; but in the end it is all sonority without sense. Plot, motivation, character -- such details had doubtless been jotted down, but then left in “the pocket of his other suit”. Nothing -- beginning with the title, and ending with the World’s Shortest Shootout -- has any point to it.