Based on the novel by American author Vince Flynn, American Assassin certainly looks like it is the blueprint for a series of movies. Flynn penned thirteen novels all based on the story Mitch Rapp a CIA secret agent. Sadly Flynn passed away in 2013 but Kyle Mills kept the series going with four more books being released by September 2017. With all of this content to work with, you can see why Hollywood would want to make an impact with the first outing and there is no doubt they certainly do that.
Think of a grittier Bourne Series to understand what you are letting yourself in for. The quality of the movie is not quite up there with the Bourne Series but the film does develop a style and feel all of its own. It has a fast hectic pace that never allows you to connect totally with the characters. Maybe this is a flaw in the movie but it is a clever way of maintaining the intensity throughout.
It has to be said, there is not a lot nice about the characters in this movie at all. Even the lead character Mitch Rapp displays so much instability that it is hard to find anything endearing about him. Although saying that, it is clear that this is where the makers of the movie wanted to take the audience. It is hard hitting, in particular, the torture scene generates so many shock moments it could be straight out of a Tarantino movie.
The cast is solid enough. There was talk of Chris Hemsworth being offered the role of Mitch Rapp but Dylan O'Brien did a great job. He's great at capturing the psychological cracks that appear in the lead character after some horrific experiences. Many of these are evident right at the very start of the movie. The other stand out performance comes from Michael Keaton (Dopesick). He plays Stan Hurley, an ex-Navy Seal, that is hard as nails and is the Mentor of Mitch Rapp. Keaton surprised me by taking this role after his recent acclaim. It is definitely not of the quality of Birdman however, he just great in this role and the manic side we loved in Beetlejuice certainly makes a grand appearance in the torture scene.
All in all, this is a great action thriller. It isis brutal in every way so if you are not a fan of this kind of thing then maybe give it a miss. It is not going to win any awards, but if you are looking for a good film that is not trying to be anything other than it is – then check it out on Netflix now.