Review of AMERICAN ASSASSIN

by on September 17, 2017

in Entertainment, movie reviews

American Assassin review

American Assassin is pretty much your ‘by-the-numbers‘ type of secret agent takes on the international bad guy scenario. But it did not totally disappoint. It gave you everything you might expect from a rogue assassin going hell-bent on killing the enemy.

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American Assassin stars a new pretty-boy action hero, Dylan O’Brien, along with Michael Keaton and Taylor Kitsch. It’s an adaptation of Vince Flynn novel series, called “A Mitch Rapp Novel.”

It’s directed by Michael Cuesta whose movie directorial experience includes a lot of television programs like Homeland, Elementary, Dexter & Six Feet Under. His movie experience includes L.I.E., Kill The Messenger, & 12 and Holding.

“When Cold War veteran Stan Hurley (Keaton) takes CIA black ops recruit Mitch Rapp (O’Brien) under his wing, they receive an assignment to investigate a wave of random attacks on both military and civilian targets. After discovering a pattern of violence, Hurley and Rapp join forces with a lethal Turkish agent to stop a mysterious operative who wants to start a global war.”

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Even though I came into American Assassin having only seen one trailer, I ended up being able to predict events with this film, which is saying something, because I usually get more absorbed in the stories and don’t have time or desire to analyze a movie story as I watch. But I wasn’t that challenged to try and decipher the story or upcoming events.

I don’t remember having seen Dylan O’Brien in other projects, but apparently I have. In The Maze Runner, Teen Wolf (TV), Scorch Trials, Deepwater Horizon.

Sometimes actors fall into roles fans like seeing them in, and for me, O’Brien is not your classic action hero, but if he can totally impress like Leonardo DiCaprio has done in his action roles, where somehow, DiCaprio makes it believable, then O’Brien can too.

But when O’Brien goes into action, it seems that director Cuesta opted for cut action scenes instead of letting the action evolve through a scene so you can focus on the flow or deeds of our star.

Events take place like sandbox* terrorists showing up on the beach and killing Rapp’s faincee. Terrorists make a point to kill everyone on the beach, but walk right on by the alive but injured Rapp. Very inconsistent.

{*Do you remember playing in your backyard or the sandbox, and you would make up things to justify your army men shooting at things or what not? That’s what I mean by sandbox, making things up, not expaining them, to justify a moment.}

And it seems that Cuesta pretty much took the easy road to directing, following all the ‘color by the numbers’ technique, or the safe road, to direct, not create, this story.

When I looked at Cuesta’s resume it made sense that he took the safe road to creating this action film. In an interview I conducted some years back, I’ve was told that even though in the world of movies, the director is the man with the creative control of a project, on TV, it’s more the producers who give the creative direction and the directors hone the scenes down for filming. With that in mind, I felt like maybe, that’s what I saw here in American Assassin.

Even though I like Keaton and Kitsch, and it’s nice to see Keaton getting work again, there was not much standing out here to make me completely revel in their roles.

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With all those seemingly negative remarks made, I do have to say, I hit up this movie to just get away from everything for a few hours, and to be honest, I was NOT disappointed I dropped my matinee-priced dollars on the film.

Yes, you read that right. For an escape to just kill some time and have me-time, this was the perfect break from life. In fact, it has done well enough in the box office that the movie’s Twitter account said,

“PSA: We want to take a moment to thank all of you. AA opened stronger than anyone expected and it is 100% because of your support (1 of 2)

PSA: We are beyond thrilled that so many of you love the film and hope to have the privilege of bringing you more Mitch Rapp! (2 of 2)”

{ https://twitter.com/VinceFlynnFilm }

IMDb users gave the film a 6.8/10, while Rotten Tomatoes gave it the expected ‘professional critic’ score of 36%. But the RT audience rated it at 73%, so yet another one of this disparities between critics and what film-goers really like. And it’s been said that RT is ruining the movie industry.

I’d give the film a popcorn 6/10.

But I have to say… if they come out with a sequel with the same director, I will NOT waste my money on it. It will be more of the same. by-the-numbers kind of film. Or at least that’s what I would expect from this director.

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