American Assassin Review
American Assassin is an action thriller film directed by Michael Cuesta and written by Stephen Schiff, Michael Finch, Edward Zwick and Marshall Herskovitz. It is based on Vince Flynn's 2010 novel of the same name. The film stars Dylan O'Brien, Michael Keaton, Sanaa Lathan, Shiva Negar, andT aylor Kitsch.
The Story/The Direction:
The film follows Mitch Rapp (O'Brien) who lost his parents in a car accident and new fiance to a terrorist attack. He trains himself to be an ultimate fighter to seek revenge. After he is noticed by the CIA, Irene Kennedy (Lathan) recruits him to be a black ops to be trained by Stan Hurley (Keaton). After an amount of plutonium is stolen, they join a lethal Turkish agent, Annika (Negar), to stop a mysterious operative, nicknamed "Ghost"(Kitsch).
Cuesta is mainly known for his independent films, specifically the 2001 film, L.I.E. He has also directed and produced television series including Dexter, Blue Bloods, and Homeland. The action in this film is serviceable and some of the kill shots are pretty gruesome.
The majority of the acting in this film is decent for what they are given. O'Brien does decent playing a younger version of Tom Cruise. However, the standout is Keaton as Hurley. You can tell he is having fun playing this role of an intense marine-like trainer. He honestly was the sole part of the film that most will enjoy disappointed with him with the standout scene being the torture one.
The biggest flaw with this film is the script. This film had four separate writers. As they say, "too many cooks spoil the broth" and this script is laughable to say the best. I say Keaton is the highlight of the acting but even his character is flawed. Keaton just levels it out. The rest however not so much. They play right into the roles that are written for them. Any backstory to any of characters is given in a very sloppy way. Half of Rapp's past is given in the opening scene, the other half is a line of dialogue, and that's really it. The rest are a few lines of dialogue here and there. You end up not really caring for any of them especially when they deliver the lines that were written for them. The dialogue itself and the plot are corny and completely cliche. You know what's going to happen. One scene has our characters looking around an area for suspicious characters and they see two kids playing futbol, two others just hanging out and then two old men walking with walkie-talkies toward a dark tunnel. Which group of two do you think were the suspicious ones? There were a lot of odd direction choices that were done like transitioning abruptly from an intense killing scene to a quiet scene with a character staring at the camera. There were also a lot of profile shots during scenes that involved a discussion between two characters. They would show one character's face while they talked then the other while they talked then repeat as the conversation went on. While the action was serviceable, the CGI was not. The climax was on the level of an average video game from ten years ago. The film was also way too long. When the bomb timer starts, you'll hope that's the countdown to the end of the film but it's not.
This was was good because it ended but bad because not soon enough. I found myself laughing more and more as the film progressed and not in a good way. Keaton is decent but he is not able to save the film from its terrible, cliche, and corny script. Keaton asks, "Something bad happened to you and why should I care?" This is the exact feeling I had coming out of this film. You could probably watch this straight to DVD type action film if you're into that or if you want a laugh. Otherwise, stay away from this awful film.
Rating: 1.0/5.0 bowties
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