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.