Flash Movie Review: American Assassin

I DID NOT think my question was that unusual or demanded too much from the sales clerk. If you could have seen their face you would have thought I had just asked something outrageous or personal. All I wanted to know was if the shirt’s material tended to shrink. Besides the “dirty” look and the condescending way they answered me, they did not even bother to look at me in the face. I wanted to tell them if they were that miserable at their job, maybe they should consider changing careers. Now in the past I would have taken that response personally and snapped back something nasty to say to them. To tell you the truth I took most things personally back then.      DUE TO THE events I experienced in my earlier days I was wary of most people. My mind would quickly go into attack mode whenever I had an exchange of some kind with a stranger. They could have been a volunteer soliciting signatures or a lost tourist, it did not matter; I would be distrustful of the individual until I saw or could ascertain they were not going to hurt me in some way. I am not exactly sure when I started softening my attitude and not taking things personally, but I think it was during a time I was being fixed up on several blind dates. It did not take me long into the conversation to realize whether the person was interested in me or not. Granted some people showed their disinterest easier than others; but even the ones that kept up a good facade, did not cause me to react negatively. I realized that everyone has likes and dislikes, trigger points that set them off and none of it should be looked at as a good or bad thing. Their qualifications or agenda was not a personal attack on me; I just did not fit into what they were looking for. In a way one could say it was just business.      AFTER SURVIVING A terrorist attack while on vacation Mitch Rapp, played by Dylan O’Brien (The Maze Runner franchise, Teen Wolf-TV), could not think of anything else after that date but to hunt down the terrorists. It was something the CIA was doing also. This action thriller also starred Michael Keaton (The Founder, Spider-Man: Homecoming) as Stan Hurley, Sanaa Lathan (Out of Time, The Best Man Holiday) as Irene Kennedy, Taylor Kitsch (Lone Survivor, Friday Night Lights-TV) as Ghost and Shiva Negar (The Art of More-TV, My Babysitter’s a Vampire-TV) as Annika. The highlight of this film was Michael Keaton; he was the most believable out of the cast. I do not know if Dylan was miscast but he did not have much range with his acting and I am afraid to say did not have the physical presence to pull off his character. With decent fight and action scenes the script could not carry the story; there were several situations that did not ring true for me. In addition the story was not only predictable but the premise for it was cheesy and weak in my opinion. A couple of therapy sessions prior to developing this film would have been money well spent.


2 stars




About moviejoltz

From a long line of movie afficionados, one brother was the #1 renter of movies in the country with Blockbuster, I am following in the same traditions that came before me. To balance out the long hours seated in dark movie theaters, I also teach yoga and cycling. For the past 3 years, I have correctly picked the major Oscar winners... so join me as we explore the wonder of movies and search for that perfect 4 star movie.

Posted on September 20, 2017, in Thriller and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. So many movies are just vehicles for nonstop action sequences. They are tranquilizing, but the story doesn’t hold together and the conflict is hard to believe.

  2. I might go and see this, it is an old concept but updated to the present world threat. I do take Brenda’s point about too much action and weak story – it seems as if the special effect guys love to show off. There is a large audience for this stuff which plays on their thoughts and fears and when the enemy gets wiped out they feel good. Of course the idea of betrayal also comes over and dealt with for the macho audience. Is it a feel good factor? I am not sure as it doesn’t solve the world’s problems or change attitudes. Well, my attitude at least.

  3. I sat in an audience of nine in the cinema and watched this.(An afternoon session so maybe the evening attendance might be better).
    My first thought was that the violence was not as graphic as suggested, no more than the Bourne or latest James Bond series.
    I thought it started well, setting up Mitch Rapp on a path of revenge for the death of his girlfriend, Katrina, on the Ibiza beach. Later I decided this should have been the main story, but it dried out once the terrorist cell had been eliminated by the Special Forces and denied Rapp his ultimate aim to personally kill the bearded terrorist responsible for shooting Katrina. Hence concluded the focus for revenge.
    This was the precursor for the CIA to recruit Mitch Rapp an amateur without any military training who was selected for his determination and focus – (on what?)
    A new story line emerges – Operation Orion – to recover Nuclear material stolen in Russia and up for sale – Iranian fanatical military are the buyers. This clearly was the modern day slant – the relevance of having a mad adversary against the world – high stakes – to be stopped at all costs.
    But then a sub-plot takes over , Ronnie (Ghost) a disgruntled Navy Seal left behind to die on a Black Ops operation emerges to steal the ‘Weapons Grade Nuclear material” from the Russian sellers. There was a moment of confusion for me here as the jump around the scenes didn’t co-ordinate and I had to take a breath to understand what happened – why?
    I was annoyed with the facial likeness of the characters, Mitch Rapp and Ronnie (Ghost) I would have preferred a clearer distinction as the cinematic style of fleeting shots were annoying.
    What follows is another path of revenge by a disgruntled character – I will stop here as it may be considered as a spoiler.

    I thought the abrupt change of focus of the story lines lost the over arching impact for me, and the villains did not provide a clear menace. The target of the Nuclear device was wishy washy and did not provoke any emotional concern. The idea of wiping out a whole city/country was understated and did not provoke any nail bitting tension. When the eventual target did become know – I didn’t emotionally care, because I already had worked out the outcome.
    If this was a ‘spy thriller’ then it was sloppy and naive, as the main protagonists appeared on the sidelines and changed. We had: Russian Mafia, Iranian politicians, Iranian double agent, squabbling CIA, Iranian fanatical Military, disgruntled ex CIA Operator, Italian Mafia- all focused around or defeated by an amateur who followed his instinct.
    The mantra of ‘need to know’ led to misunderstandings – as it can when badly managed in the real world – perhaps this was the only allusion I can take away from the film.
    The ending had me gasping, I hope this isn’t the set up for second film – what could they possibly do next?
    Conclusion, I enjoyed this for the entertaining shots of Istanbul and Rome.

    Let me coin the phrase – ‘Spaghetti Spy Thriller.’ – great macho fun but no effective suspense or emotional tension.

    • Hi James and thank you so much for taking the time to leave your wonderful take on the film. Only one thing I want to point out; I say very little about the details of a film so each person can go in blind. I don’t want to cheat anyone of the experience so kindly avoid mentioning any details . I should be able to understand what you are trying to convey. Thanks again.

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