Rated: R for strong violence throughout, some torture, language and brief nudity. Reviewed by: Gerry Release date: September 15, 2017 Released by: Lions Gate Films
I thought American Assassin grabbed my attention in the first five minutes, and never let go. I have read eight or nine of the Vince Flynn books, and find Mitch Rapp to be an intriguing kind of person.
The movie tries to make him into some sort of avenging warrior, who is making up for his girlfriends loss of life in a beachfront terrorist attack. Rapp has lots to recommend to his CIA superiors. He appears to be bright, resourceful, a quick learner, very motivated, and almost entirely without any moral boundaries.
Rapp (Dylan O'Brien) is recruited by Irene Kennedy (Sanaa Lathan) and trained by Stan Hurley (Michael Keaton), an older version of Rapp. Hurley attempts to control the youngster, but Rapp is like a tornado, once the violence begins.
The CIA squad is chasing down a nuclear threat in the area of Rome and their team is compromised by a beautiful undercover agent named Annika (Shiva Negar). When Mitch figures out she is not fully committed to his actions his fury with her knows no sense of balance. He nearly drowns her in a bathtub and suffers zero remorse. After several very violent encounters with the enemy Stan Hurley is captured and tortured with a capital T. Mitch shows up to rescue him, and the movie concludes with a terrific fight scene aboard a racing boat that houses the nuclear device, which is now fully armed and set to detonate. Mitch slays his opponent and turns his vessel around. He must throw the armed bomb into the ocean, which will absorb much of the blast.
The ending explosion footage was spectacular. I found the film to be tense, but the two hours time seemed to fly by. There is a lot of violence, and the film is rated R with good reason.
There are about another dozen books by Flynn. I would rate this movie as a B+. I would certainly purchase a ticket to a sequel. I also think Dylan O'Brien has movie star potential.