“American Assassin” Review

14 September, 2017

Director: Michael Cuesta
Screenwriters: Stephen Schiff, Michael Finch, Edward Zwick, Marshall Herskovitz
Director of Photography: Enrique Chediak
Cast: 
Dylan O’Brien, Michael Keaton, Taylor Kitsch

Synopsis: After surviving a terrorist attack which claimed the life of his girlfriend, a violent man seeking revenge is chosen to assist the CIA in taking down a deadly target with plans to release a radioactive substance.

American Assassin Review:

A Bourne for beginners punch-up with a taste for mass-produced terrorsploitation, “American Assassin” takes the worst elements from a haphazard screenplay and moulds them into an action movie that feels more than a little too familiar for the seasoned cinemagoer. Dynamic yet running almost entirely on air, the movie crashes into trouble from the moment a body hits the ground, beginning in exceptionally bad taste with an overplayed trigger-happy terrorism sequence and segueing into scenes which might as well feature a Blofeld piranha pool in the build up to a “Casino Royale” sexy water shot.

One of few films that will be impossible to recall by the end of the year, “American Assassin” feels like “Zero Dark Thirty” without the heady pulse of a Kathryn Bigelow picture or “Body of Lies” without the crackerjack tempo captured in Ridley Scott’s most notable works, rolling out flatter than a pancake with a deflated cast who do little to breathe life into the snoozefest blockbuster they signed up for. While Michael Keaton plays himself within the confines of a limited contract, the film’s hefty list of writers seem to envision starboy Dylan O’Brien as something he isn’t, scrambling for a piece of the pie as they place emotional obstacles in the way of an actor defined by his lack of charisma.


Guaranteeing that the more you think about it the less you’ll like it, “American Assassin” plays it safe on all accounts, reworking the format of a gazillion action movies with no purpose other than to recall a more appetising history of hands-on combat in cinema. Ending on the lowest note possible with a bomb blast that might as well be ripped directly from a straight-to-DVD disaster movie, “American Assassin” concludes with less tension than the average “Sharknado” sequel, proving definitively that if it’s not Bourne and it’s not Bond, it’s usually not worth talking about.

 

   

Summary
Review Date
Movie
American Assassin
Rating
11stargraygraygraygray