Movie Reviews

American Assassin – A Decent Yet Derivative Action Film (Early Review)

At least this will give Dylan O’Brien something to do once The Maze Runner franchise ends.

Synopsis: AMERICAN ASSASSIN follows the rise of Mitch Rapp, a CIA black ops recruit under the instruction of Cold War veteran Stan Hurley. The pair is then enlisted by CIA Deputy Director Irene Kennedy to investigate a wave of apparently random attacks on both military and civilian targets. Together the three discover a pattern in the violence leading them to a joint mission with a lethal Turkish agent to stop a mysterious operative intent on starting a World War in the Middle East. (eOne Films)

Starring: Dylan O’Brien, Michael Keaton, and Sanaa Lathan

Writers: Stephen Schiff, Michael Finch, Edward Zwick, and Marshall Herskovitz

Director: Michael Cuesta

Rating: 14A (Canada)/R (United States)

Running Time: 111mins


For showtimes and more, check out American Assassin on

In terms of action films, there was absolutely nothing new here in every regard. It knows what it is and didn’t try to be anything more. It’s big, it’s loud, and it’s stupid so it’s basically what you would call a popcorn movie and this will be enough for some people. What starts off as a quest for revenge thrusts a young man named Mitch Rapp to the CIA where he joins a black ops team run by a veteran named Stan Hurley (Keaton). Their mission was to stop one of Hurley’s former recruits known as Ghost (Taylor Kitsch).

The derivative nature of the story and storytelling took away from the excitement that could have been had. It’s predictable nature also lessened the impact of its many twists and turns. The characters aren’t that deep, making it difficult to care about them with the best being Keaton’s Hurley as he is given the most to do. O’Brien was a serviceable action lead but he was not asked to do much on an emotional level as his early motivations were quickly forgotten (although could return in the inevitable sequel). Kitsch was okay as the villain but wasn’t asked to do much either.

Overall, this was a decent action film that was very derivative in its execution but offers some exciting moments and a fun performance by Michael Keaton.

Score: 6/10

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