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Movie Review – American Assassin

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There’s only a handful of actors I truly sit up and notice whenever I see their names on any movie title, Michael Keaton is easily one of them. If you are not familiar with him then I suggest looking him up, the man has an impressive catalogue of movies under his belt. Adding to his repertoire this time around is American Assassin, a thriller based on the New York Times bestseller of the same name, written by Vince Flynn.  

Monte Casino was the venue where I got the chance to check out the latest blockbuster on the circuit currently. I was pumped to check this one out, this has been the case since the first time I saw the trailer back in August. Trailers do a great job in making a movie seem more than it actually is, I’ve eluded to this fact on numerous occasions before. So, was this the case in this instance also?


Cast – Dylan O’Brien, Michael Keaton, Sanaa Lathan, Shiva Negar & Taylor Kitsch

Director – Michael Cuesta

Genre – Thriller/Action

Running Time – 1h 51m


The Plot

Distributed by Times Media Films, on behalf of Lionsgate, the movie follows the rise of Mitch Rapp (Dylan O’Brien) a CIA black ops recruit under the instruction of Cold War veteran Stan Hurley (Michael Keaton). The pair is then enlisted by CIA Deputy Director Irene Kennedy (Sanaa Lathan) 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 (Shiva Negar) to stop a mysterious operative (Taylor Kitsch) intent on starting a World War in the Middle East.

The Good

The movie includes an impressive cast with a plotline that’s also equally intriguing. To put it in simple terms, American Assassin is a full-blown action movie complete with explosive film stunts – from hand-to-hand combat to gun fights, helicopter and car chases. It will satisfy the apatite of any movie lover, especially the action junkies.

The Not So Great

Despite what it offers, American Assassin has its flaws. Maybe it has to do with the fact that I was constantly finding myself comparing it to similar titles such as The Accountant and Jason Bourne, probably not fair of me to do that but it’s hard not to. When compared to such titles, American Assassin doesn’t even come close. It’s not as polished, tight and together as the aforementioned movies.

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Outside the comparisons though and purely from an outright movie watching point of view, American Assassin gives one the impression of being loosely knit and not having enough to fully impress. This is disappointing especially when you consider what it initially presents through the trailer and plot. It had the makings of being a great movie but sadly the execution in many instances just wasn’t great.

So, is it a bad movie?

No, not at all. Despite its faults (and maybe not watching from a critic’s point of view), American Assassin still makes for a good watch. This is all thanks to its impressive fight scenes and standout performances from Michael Keaton and Taylor Kitsch.

Officially in cinemas tomorrow, American Assassin is not a great movie nor is it a bad one. When faced with little options for your viewing pleasure, it might just do the job. Even with a running time of just under 2 hours, it does meander a bit and feels much longer, but if you can put up with some of its faults, – my guess is most individuals can – then it should make for a decent watch. Again, it’s not perfect but does a job, American Assassin manages to get a 3 out of 5 rating from me.

Thabiso Moloi

With many, many years of PR work under his belt, Thabiso has worked on a great number of technology brands and gadgetry (which we feature here thoroughly) and has over the years grown a keen liking for. He’s been obsessed with technology (and most things under the sun) for as long as he can remember. For now, he covers smartphone reviews (spanning everything from entry to premium devices) as well as entertainment related stuff.

You can find him on Twitter: @Thabz_14

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