AMERICAN ASSASSIN (2017) – My rating: 8/10

American Assassin is an action thriller film directed by Michael Cuesta.  The trailers make it a must see but 3 quarters though the film you realized this could be considered fantasy.  It’s saving grace is it’s the kind of fantasy you don’t mind.  A subordinate that does his own thing and doesn’t pay the consequences for his actions — my kind of job.  Given the way it started, you probably could forgive him for anything.

Mitch Rapp (Dylan O’Brien) and his girlfriend are on vacation in Ibiza, Spain, he proposes to her, giving her his mother’s ring as he films her acceptance.  Suddenly, radical Islamist jihadist cells land on the beach and begin to attack with assault rifles, wounding Mitch and killing his new fiance.

Eighteen months later, Mitch, now consumed by his desire for vengeance, frequents an internet message board where the terrorist responsible for his girlfriend’s murder quizzes Mitch on aspects of Islam and jihad. Having secured an invitation to meet him face to face, Mitch prepares to take his vengeance out on the terrorist responsible for his girlfriend’s death.  Things don’t go as planned and Mitch ends up working for the U.S. Special Forces.   Under CIA Deputy Director Irene Kennedy (Sanaa Lathan),  Mitch joins black operations unit, codenamed Orion, headed up by Stan Hurley (Michael Keaton),  a former U.S. Navy SEAL and a Cold War veteran who trains Mitch, as well as other potential recruits, in asymmetrical warfare.

Mitch goes through extensive training with Hurley, who thinks Mitch is too uncontrollable for the job.  When an international incident causes the team to investigate, Hurley and Kennedy get to find out if Mitch is ready to comply or not.  This film is exciting and adventurous but leaves you wondering if a special agent who is so head strong and set in his ways could actually get away with the kind of insubordination Mitch does. His actions and lack of discipline almost makes this a fantasy.  I still enjoyed American Assassin because of the action and the suspense.  I just didn’t quite believe in everything I was seeing.  Of course there is much more to this plot and a couple of characters I didn’t mention really make it all come together but as usual, I’ve said enough.  Check American Assassin out, you won’t regret it!


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