The latest “serious” George Clooney vehicle, The American, will arrive in theaters at the beginning of September – a bit early for a potential awards season contender.

Two new TV spots for the film have been released and they offer a quick glimpse at the dark, action-driven flick, which finds Clooney as a U.S. citizen overseas and on the verge of retirement.  Did I mention that he is a professional killer?

Here is the official synopsis for The American:

Alone among assassins, Jack (Clooney) is a master craftsman.  When a job in Sweden ends more harshly than expected for this American abroad, he vows to his contact Larry (Bruce Altman) that his next assignment will be his last.

Jack reports to the Italian countryside, where he holes up in a small town and relishes being away from death for a spell.  The assignment, as specified by a Belgian woman, Mathilde (Thekla Reuten), is in the offing as a weapon is constructed.

Surprising himself, Jack seeks out the friendship of local priest Father Benedetto (Paolo Bonacelli) and pursues romance with local woman Clara (Violante Placido).  But by stepping out of the shadows, Jack may be tempting fate.

The two TV clips (which you can view below) offer a brief glimpse at some of the more intense, thrilling scenes from The American – as opposed to the moodier, dramatic portions of the film.

One thing to note – there is a shot in the movie (and the first TV spot below) where Clooney hugs a topless woman, which is obviously too risque for a general audiences advertisement.  It seems that the commercial editors decided to take the approach of the cable TV version of Showgirls and photoshop a black top on the gal – just amusing, is all. ;)

Clooney’s name alone is not enough to guarantee The American an excellent turnout at the box office.  The fact that it is being released at the end of the summer movie season does not indicate that distributor Focus Features has a lot of confidence in the critical prospects of the film, either.

Does that mean that the movie will be a bust?  Not at all – only that the outlook is perhaps less than good at this point.

The American will make its way into regular theaters in the U.S. on September 1st, 2010.