By: Movie Snurb (Five Beers) –
Mitch Rapp (Dylan O’Brien) is on vacation with his new fiancé and a terror strike happens. His fiancé is murdered while he survives. Mitch decides to take it upon himself to take down all of the terrorists in the world. The C.I.A. gets a hold of his plan and captures him when he “invades” the first cell. The C.I.A. recruit Mitch to do their bidding. He agrees and goes to train with Stan Hurley (Michael Keaton), a veteran ex-Navy SEAL. After minimal training they are sent out on a mission to stop an arms dealer trading with a mystery man nicknamed Ghost (Taylor Kitsch), who has plans to kill millions of Americans. Come to find out Stan and Ghost have a history.
There’s not much to praise about this “action” film. Taylor Kitsch does a good job as the bad guy. We could’ve had a few more scenes with Kitsch, especially for more backstory about Ghost. All we get is a few words from Stan. Michael Keaton as Stan does a fine job; he doesn’t have much work with but with what he does Keaton preforms admirably. The final scene is pretty cool; even if it is a little CGI-heavy, it still was pretty cool to watch.
For an “action” film this film is very dull. There was very little action, too little, really, for it to be considered an action film. Also, if you’re action film is going to have a slower pace it should have more story to go with it, but here they strung out a simple storyline so it lasted 100 minutes.
With stretching that storyline, the pacing becomes a snails pace. I’d compare it to Heat- Heat is 3 hours and though it’s listed as an action film there is far less action then story. Except with Heat the film is brilliant and the story is compelling. This film, you get the sense where the film is going, so while you think there’s only 20 minutes left there’s really 40. Not to mention the action sequences aren’t compelling, which makes the film move even slower.
This scene alone was a better action film.
The writing is not great. In the beginning Mitch and his fiancé don’t seem like they’ve been dating long enough to be getting engaged. Their exchanges are clunky and not cute but rather driveling. At least there aren’t any one liners like “You’ve been ghosted”. Or some crap. Not only in the dialogue, but also with the characters, pretty much everyone is this film is dumb. If the action is going to be slow your film should be intelligent to keep the film interesting. Most of the characters and their dialogue come off dumb.
There were also a lot of continuity errors. I won’t explain them because it will take me four pages to get them all out; however, if you see this film you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about. Not to mention the part where Mitch should’ve burned alive in a tunnel. I don’t think that’s what they mean by the “Magic of the Movies.”
Lastly Dylan O’Brien was just not believable as the dopey boyfriend/fiancé turned stone cold assassin. His story wasn’t relatable and neither was his character. Whenever they’d give him an order or instructions he would disobey. He never came off as threatening, more like a whiny frat douche who tries to act badass. I would’ve cast Taylor Kitsch in the lead role and found a different guy to play Ghost, maybe a female; nobody would’ve seen it coming and it would’ve given this film a better angle.
Your stone cold assassin, everyone.
For an action film there isn’t much action in American Assassin, or good action for that matter. The main character comes off whiny and annoying. It’s a paint-by-numbers slow film, and I recommend skipping it. Just wait a couple weeks and go see Blade Runner 2049.
American Assassin (2017) Drinking Game
Take a Drink: every time you feel like you missed something.
Do a Shot: every time someone dies.
Take a Drink: every time Mitch doesn’t obey an order.
Chug a Beer: when you realize when you train at a 9 Rounds or an MMA gym that you’ve “passed a test” for the C.I.A. as well.