The adaptation of Vince Flynn’s best-selling book series American Assassin has hit cinemas, directed by Michael Cuesta (Kill The Messenger) and starring Dylan O’Brien and Michael Keaton. With high anticipation surrounding this action movie, does it live up to the hype?
Right from the get go you’re thrown into the world of Mitch Rapp (O’Brien), where he’s proposing to his girlfriend in a Spanish oasis. It’s a scene that would melt anyone’s heart, but just as suddenly you’re hit smack bang in the face with a disturbing and violent terrorist attack that sends chills down your spine. Where I wanted the movie to go next isn’t exactly what we got.
The first quarter of the film was easily the most captivating, an edge of seat revenge story built on hatred, pain and heartache. O’Brien really carries this film in a way we haven’t seen from the young actor before, in an older role he sheds his teen persona and transforms himself into a weapon of mass destruction with a big ass beard. Michael Keaton plays ex-Navy SEAL instructor Stan Hurley, who’s job is helping Rapp on his journey to redemption. It was refreshing seeing Keaton in an action role in his late 50s, holding his own against the younger actors in some quite challenging fight scenes. It’ll make you glad that he is back kicking ass in big blockbuster movies for this generation.What started off strong ended up fading away into a mix of The Bourne Identity and all the Nic Cage action films we sometimes tollorate rolled into one. For me this film lacked the energy to sustain it as a thrill ride; the opener is horrific and powerful, and I feel that if that level was kept up throughout the film, American Assassin would be a movie that could be revisted again and again. After watching, I’m happy to recommend this to people but I won’t be running to buy it on Blu-Ray when it comes out.
So is it any good… yes, but don’t expect American Assassin to be 2017’s Taken, because it’s not.