I get a fair amount of attention-grabbing movie studio swag, but the packages I received in the mail for "American Ultra" really, um, grabbed my attention. The first was a hemp bag full of helpful goodies like rolling papers and a stash case; the second was a cup of instant noodles and a spoon.

I get a fair amount of attention-grabbing movie studio swag, but the packages I received in the mail for "American Ultra" really, um, grabbed my attention. The first was a hemp bag full of helpful goodies like rolling papers and a stash case; the second was a cup of instant noodles and a spoon.

In fairness to the marketing team at Lionsgate, this is not an easy movie to market, so I see why they're going the "stoner" route, even if that's not necessarily the best fit.

Yes, Mike Howell (Jesse Eisenberg) is stoner, living in a small West Virginia town, working at a convenience store and getting baked with his girlfriend Phoebe (Kristen Stewart). But he is also a sleeper government agent who is "activated" when other agents are sent to liquidate him. It turns out the slacker is also a highly trained killer.

"American Ultra" plays in the stoner-comedy-meet-violent-action-flick vein of "The Pineapple Express," but it's all over the map in tone. It alternates laughs, love, explosions and Steven Seagal-esque killings - only it's not as good as that sounds.

Director Nima Nourizadeh ("Project X") may be aiming a little above his talents with action sequences that aspire to John Woo heights, but the real problem is that you don't know whether to laugh, cry or duck. Such a mixture of tones is a tough thing to land.

Nonetheless, I enjoyed the cast and a violent Bonnie & Clyde love story that hearkened back to when these were en vogue in the '90s ("True Romance," "Love and a .45"). But a stoner flick? Yeah, I'm not so sure that's a fit.