If If we wanted to describe “American Assassin” in one word it would be predictable. In another book series turned action film, “American Assassin” falls short of joining obvious counterparts Bourne, Bond, and the like. Based on the 16-installment book series by Vince Flynn, “American Assassins” takes a few liberties to make this story more culturally current. Even though we feel it falls flat, this movie will quickly become a series and is likely here to stay.
Lead character Mitch Rapp (Dylan O’Brien) is a young man who feels lost after the brutal murder of his fiancée Katrina. While vacationing on the beaches of Ibiza, Katrina was brutally gunned down in a terrorist attack. Now Rapp wants revenge. So he learns Arabic, studies the Qu’ran and tries to infiltrate the cell responsible for Katrina’s death. Things get a little rough and Rapp is rescued by U.S. forces.
After drawing the attention of CIA Deputy Director Irene Kennedy (Sanaa Lathan), Rapp finds himself an apprentice to ex-Navy SEAL Instructor Stan Hurley (Michael Keaton). Hurley is a Persian Gulf vet who likes a little lead with him morning coffee. This is where predictable shines bright. Hurley equips Rapp with all kinds of unnecessary skills: pick-pocketing, drag racing, dog evasion, parkour, and of course fluency in multiple languages.
Emotions and action scenes are the name of the game in “American Assassins” even when they shouldn’t be. You will leave entertained, but don’t expect to be clamoring for more in the Mitch Rapp series. This might have been better suited for a network-television mini-series than a box-office blockbuster. Even though this movie falls short in pretty much every aspect, you can expect at least 2 or 3 more installments before Mitch Rapp rides off into the nuclear wasted sunset.