Monthly Archives: October 2017

American Assassin

 American Assassin is a 2017 American action thriller film directed by Michael Cuesta. It is based on Vince Flynn’s 2010 novel of the same name and stars Dylan O’Brien, Michael Keaton, Sanaa Lathan, Shiva Negar and Taylor Kitsch. It follows Cold War veteran Stan Hurley and CIA black ops recruit Mitch Rapp when 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 the detonation of a rogue nuclear weapon.

 I’ve got to say I’m disappointed. I was expecting more from this film. And yes, maybe that’s my fault for giving it potential it should never have had but from the trailers I was expecting something more than a very generic action spy flick. I was expecting more thriller than…average forgettable cinema. Again, maybe that’s just my fault for going in expecting to see a different film but I always try my best not to read up to much about films before I see them. Open mind and all that. Unfortunately what we get is a formulaic, predictable affair with some fast cut close combat fight scenes and some rather shoddy CGI. This is more Jack Reacher than Bourne and having just watched the outrageous Kingsmen sequel it’s just too easy for a film like this to get lost in the shuffle.

It’s not that American Assassin is a ‘bad’ film, it’s just that there are many more that do everything this film can do better. Everything about this film is fine, serviceable, a C Grade if you will, but it just lacks anything extra that will make it a great movie. The performances are okay and I did enjoy Michael Keaton as Hurley but I feel like practically anyone could have played Mitch Rapp in their sleep. In reality there isn’t all that much going on with the character at all. Rapp is a man who follows his impulses rather than orders and frequently lucks out when things could and perhaps should all go tits up. Which could be true to the source material, which I’ve never read, or it could be just bland acting and lazy writing.

Ultimately, depending on your mood and expectations this could be an enjoyable movie to watch. Perhaps on a lazy Sunday afternoon when there is nothing else on TV and you’ve lost your Jason Bourne DVDs.

Verdict: Thumbs Meh-ddle (HAHA…aren’t I a clever little sod?)

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Kingsmen: The Golden Circle

Thumbs up or Thumbs down? Simple, spoiler free reviews.

kingsmanposter_0When their headquarters are destroyed and the world is held hostage, the remaining Kingsmen’s journey leads them to their US counterparts, called Statesmen.

Kingsmen: The Secret Service is one of my favourite films, not just recently, but ever. I think it is simply fantastic. It was fresh, fun and brutal. I actually thought from the original trailers that I would hate it, but boy was I proven wrong. In fact, I’ve watched that film countless times and have been looking forward to this sequel ever since.

As a result I actually risked over hyping its potential to myself and perhaps as a result of this I did start getting a little concerned about the quality the second film in the franchise could produce. To be honest, I’d almost convinced myself that this film would fail horribly and be awful. It was a clear case of lowering my expectations so that I wouldn’t be too disappointed. I need not have worried, Kingsmen: The Golden Circle is a cracking film.

Now admittedly, The Golden Circle is not as good as the original, but you know what? Guardians of the Galaxy 2 was not ‘quite’ as good as the original either but that does not make either of them bad films. Far from it, this second outing is a highly enjoyable romp throughout that keeps a lot of the charm whilst also going a bit more bonkers at times. The argument will be that what was once fresh, new and different is now known and expected but Kingsmen 2 delivers on those moments of similarity and doesn’t feel like a re-tread of what we’ve already seen.

In Julianne Moore we have another excellent and eccentric villain and the action is as brutal as ever. Sure, it’s a little over the top at times and often ridiculous but when you’re having fun with it, who really gives a damn? Plus it still has that brilliant, now iconic (in my opinion) camera work for the fight and action scenes. Granted nothing is likely to ever top the original church scene with Colin Firth or that bar brawl just because they were so iconic and well executed in the original.

All of the returning characters are still a lot of fun and the new additions from The Statesmen are great too. Plus there are a number of surprises as well as a hilarious cameo too.

Honestly, if you enjoyed the first film you will enjoy the second one and if you have not seen the first one. Firstly, why not? Secondly, do so. Thirdly, then go and see this film because you will also enjoy this one. It’s really that simple.

Verdict: Thumbs Up