American Assassin

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Swanner: Mitch Rapp (Dylan O’Brien) and his fiance are vacationing at a lovely seaside resort when there is a terrorist attack on the beach. Mitch’s fiance is killed and Rapp loses it. He becomes obsessed with seeking revenge on the people who attacked that beach. While trying to break into the terrorist cell, Rapp is caught by the Americans. Using his rage to their advantage,  he is trained to be an assassin by Stan Hurley (Michael Keaton), a CIA Black Ops team leader. Once on the team, Hurley and his team are sent to the middle east to stop Iran from getting plutonium for a nuclear bomb.

The film is well directed by Michael Cuesta who keeps a quick pace going; so much so that when there are plot holes, we’ve already moved past them. I liked the script for the fact that I always knew what was happening all the time; except for the times they were heading for a twist.  Keaton actually pulls off this tough guy role by kicking Rapp’s ass early on in the film. O’Brien does a good job as the hell bent, revenge seeking assassin. I wouldn’t say they had a good chemistry, but they had something that pulled me into the story. Overall, the film has a very good cast with standouts Sanaa Lathan, Shiva Negar, and Taylor Kitsch.

Recently, all the action films coming out have been over the top and almost campy, which works for me most of the time. American Assasin is more of a by-the-book thriller. I forgot how a good action thriller can be. The film is rated R, mostly for the violence which gets extreme and very scary at times. If the film does well, I think we could see sequels to this film like we did with the Bourne films and I’m good with that.

Swanner: 3 stars

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