American Assassin is a movie based off of a book, so this is an adapted story regarding a tragic event that catapulted Mitch Rapp, played by Dylan O’Brian, to seek justice revenge on the people who caused it. During his quest, the C.I.A. is watching him get closer to his target as well as monitor him strengthening his skills in combat. Cause you know, that is what they do, watch us without consent. Next thing you know due to Rapp’s questioning sanity and a few MMA classes, he is perfect for being recruited to assist the C.I.A. in a mission against a guy who has a grudge against the world and needs there to be a global war to help him sleep at night. Sounds familiar, right?
The story unfortunately isn’t going to bring you anything new so now it’s up to the players to make this movie great. Dylan O’Brian is this very talented and versatile actor who is working on numerous projects with everything he’s got. He has done both TV and movies most of the time stealing the scenes he is in. Comedies and action has been his genre so far. This film shows him more front and center and showing his skills as a potential action star. This is a great chance to show what he is capable of and he delivers. I liked his performance quite a bit. Problem is, I HATED his character. This kid is going through some heavy heartache but apparently, it’s a license to basically do whatever you want without consequence. Of course, in movie style fashion, he is the lead, the one going through it so let’s give him a pass and endanger many lives around him. Rapp is a know-it-all spoiled brat with too much red in his eyes and very self-absorbed to root for.
Along for the ride is Sanaa Lathan, playing the boss of this operation, Irene Kennedy, in this action thriller. Lathan is a great actress but she is playing the exact role she played in Now You See Me 2, as just another officer of the law running around behind the scenes to say a few things but not actually doing anything. Nothing towards Lathan but her character doesn’t bring anything to the table accept to bridge the gap between Rapp and Stan Hurley. Stan Hurley, played by Michael Keaton, was enjoyable on screen. He plays this tough as nails trainer for black ops recruits in the middle of nowhere with hardcore training and simulations to prepare them to go out into the world to kill some terrorist. One big reason I wanted to see this movie was the possible exhilarating chemistry between O’Brian and Keaton. They worked well together but nothing extraordinary was created on screen. As for their characters, Hurly is assigned to train Rapp to be obedient and prepare him for teamwork and to assist in the mission. Keaton’s broody looks and stern attitude towards the damage Rapp you would think he is going to whip Rapp into shape but nope. It seems that his training and guidance has done nothing to him as Rapp seemed to disobey almost every order given to him. Their chemistry was like watching Zach Morris and Principal Belding for 90 mins create this love-hate relationship. Keaton, who is fresh off his amazing role in Spiderman: Homecoming, plays sort of the same guy who is done taken crap from everyone and just doing thing his way. He has some really bad ass scenes but where he tried to be hardcore comes off really gross and off pace with the tone of the rest of the movie. You will know what scene I’m talking about when you see it.
Throw in a star from a superhero movie, Taylor Kitsch, in the mix because every movie has to have an actor who has a superhero role background nowadays and you have yourself a pretty basic action movie filled with tons of stereotypical characters in the terrorist game and expendable supporting actors that didn’t make the backstory to this whole movie any more interesting. So now, all that is left is the action sequences of the film to keep you occupied till the credits role. Those scenes were pretty good actually. O’Brian looked great during his action sequence. Especially with the gun play. I would rather see these skills played out in The Maze Runner series.
At the end of the day, this movie deals with how to grieve and the steps taken to get over a massive lost. The ending suggests a sequel or franchise but I hope I don’t see one. Nothing infuriates me more than having a well-oiled organization have such disobedient workers who pretty much do whatever they want. Its old and tiresome to watch on screen. It just isn’t that believable and borderlines as a comedy at the end of the day. I can’t confidently recommend this feature to anyone but if you like action and looking at those dreamy eyes and more shirtless scenes of the new muscly O’Brian, have at it. Otherwise, this is a film you can wait till it drops on the small screen.