American Assassin is an alright spy action film that follows a man that has lost everything and then gets trained to eliminate targets. It comes across as generic to a degree, but it wasn't terrible to watch being a fine time. It was more brutal than one would have imagined with a certain grit to it that was appreciated. The story follows Mitch Rapp (Dylan O'Brien) a man that really has nothing left as he trains intensely to get revenge. To the side of that he's being monitored and is sent to an extreme training program ran by Stan Hurley (Michael Keaton), a trainer with methods that are completely unorthodox.
A sort of training session goes on and then we see the squad get sent into the wild. It's a bit too large of a scale for what was originally proposed at the start and I felt that a more intimate tale would have fared better. The ending got way too out there and the quality of CGI was also fairly poor towards the ending. Still, it was entertaining to watch action wise providing a number of interesting scenes.
There are some interesting aspects of the plot that one might miss, but I didn't like how loose cannon the lead was. It seems as though every spy movie as of recent has the lead never follow the rules always going rogue. The action was decent with some brutal fight scenes and more gore than I had anticipated. It was shot alright with some very nice views on action with fewer cuts than the typical constant jumps many action films use. There definitely were lots of angles, but it wasn't the worst offender for this aspect. The narrative was decent as the lead attempted to do what was right at any cost. Keaton was excellent in his role as usual and I didn't mind the lead protagonist as I was initially worried that he might not fit the action role. I did feel that he was slightly muzzled with few times to actually speak or show potential charm.
American Assassin is definitely a typical sort of spy action movie with a plot that is easy to predict. Some aspects did provide a twist that might surprise some, but it's fairly by the book. Keaton was an excellent trainer and that helped for the small parts of the film that did actually follow a protocol. I felt this might have been more interesting if it was more intimate in what the end goal was and if it had focused more on the spy aspects instead of just having this guy run around killing everyone. Some of the late CGI elements weren't great, but fine enough and the ending spiraled too far out. It doesn't always have to be the end of the world or some massive event and with revenge being a theme it could have been a more personal journey.
Review for American Assassin at Theater with Standard Viewing
Screening Provided by Entertainment One