American Assassin

Neither about Americans nor Assassins…

Directed by: Michael Cuesta

Starring: Michael Keaton, Dylan O’Brien & Sanaa Lathan

Meh.

American AssassinMitch Rapp, (Dylan ‘desperately needs to trim his random patch of chest hair’ O’Brien) is enjoying a beautiful vacation with his girlfriend. Just after he romantically proposes to her, and she says Yes!, the beach resort they are at gets attacked by terrorists who decide to kill almost everybody…including Rapps new fiancé.

Fast forward 18 months and Rapp survived the attack and has been self-training as a soldier and an undercover spy. His mission – to infiltrate the terrorist cell that murdered his fiancé and kill their leader. Of course the FBI has been tracking his every move. From his MMA classes to sessions at the local gun range to his email correspondence with the terrorists themselves. Somehow through all this amateur training Rapp is able to get a face to face meeting with the terrorist leader, which is perfect because it leads the FBI right to the bad guys.

With me so far? A young 20 something in mourning gets mad, so in less than 18 months he turns into a super spy/assassin thirsty for revenge. Totally believable, right? It gets better. The head of the FBI team that was watching Rapp is Irene Kennedy, (Sanaa ‘Love & Basketball is an underrated movie’ Lathan) and she sees the “raw potential” that Rapp possesses. She delivers him not to prison but to an elite task force that operates off the books and under the breath of any top military brass.

The leader of this task force is Stan Hurley, (Michael ‘ya wanna get nuts?’ Keaton) and he of course uses an unorthodox style of training. Out in the woods, kill or be killed, every order I give is the word of God type of training. Hurley has a fresh set of recruits that Rapp filters into. His raw talent puts him at the top of the class but his problems with authority of course clash with Hurleys teaching style. Eventually a real mission is presented and away we go!

Someone stole enough uranium to make a nuclear bomb. The same person has also kidnapped a physicist. A lot of money is being moved around and it is leading Hurley and his team towards a possible nuclear explosion. Can they stop it in time? Can they find out who has been in charge of all these underhanded dealings? Can Hurley and Rapp work together as a team to get the mission accomplished?

Listen, if you’re still interested at this point then I wont stop you. Go see the film. In my opinion though, this would have made a great straight to DVD movie that you watch on a lonely Thursday night and are pleasantly surprised you found it in the $7.99 bin at Wal-mart.

What the film does have is solid acting all around. Keaton is Keaton. He’s a pro and sells his performance nicely, especially during a gruesome interrogation scene. Edge of your seat action and fight sequences that will have you holding your breath are sprinkled throughout to keep you fully engaged the entire time. It is the stretches of unrealistic storylines that might make you scoff and not take the movie serious.

Do not see this movie in the theaters. Do see it when its available for home viewing. It’s more than worth the Thursday night show.

6  outta 10

-Brian

 

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