American Assassin conjures mixed reactions

September 20, 2017


Michael Keaton as Cold War veteran, Stan Hurley in the action

& adventure movie "American Assassin."



Going into the movie American Assassin, I had a little bias.


I was picturing this film to be a typical action movie with big guns, rapid shooting and emotionless male characters but this film expanded in comparison to its overdone predecessors.

 This film features typical Hollywood actors such as Teen Wolf’s Dylan O’Brien, who plays the protagonist, and supporting character Michael Keaton, who is known for playing Batman and other eccentric roles like Beetlejuice. 

This film focuses on O’Brien’s character, “Mitch Rapp,” who is on a journey of vengeance for his murdered girlfriend.


This plot point has been seen countless times with films such as The Crow, The Punisher and Mad Max. 

Even though the plot isn’t original, the film is full of exciting hand to hand combat, explosions and blood.


 The aspect that made this film stand apart is that there is not just senseless violence but rather, strategy and contemplation behind these killings.

The suspenseful music and dynamic close-ups bring out the thriller in this film.


There are also many shocking turns that are unexpected which leave the audience stunned.


There is also breathtaking scenery displaying the architecture of Rome that takes away from the dark military bases. 

The special effects almost jumped off the screen and into my seat and my cheap self was not watching.


The actors did an exceptional job of creating a serious atmosphere of CIA operations but they also mix this intensity with humor. 

I felt a certain sense of empathy for the main character, Mitch, because he has an obsession with his revenge but he also bares emotional trauma. 

This vulnerability makes him a relatable character and not just a killing machine.


While Keaton’s character, Hurley, is a Cold War veteran who wants him to discard his emotions and only think of missions and orders.

This polar opposite relationship is very intriguing but the film does not expand on this dynamic duo to its full extent.


This movie is rated R and this is reflected in its abundance of killings and strong messages of terrorism. 

There are many cutscenes to different perspectives such as surveillance camera,  sniper gun scopes and of course, iPhones.

On paper, this movie’s main attraction is its actors. I have a crazed Dylan O’Brien fan-of-a-sister who also tagged along.

 She gave an opposite reaction while I came out very impressed by the movie, she gave it a lukewarm review.


 She felt her idol was no different from his television persona and the movie was a bit slow paced. Overall she said she could have waited for it to come out on DVD. 

My sister and I are not the biggest action buffs around but if you want to sit down and enjoy a movie that pulls at your heart strings and mixes some co-operative combat missions, I would say this movie is for you.


If you want to just stare at Dylan O’Brien...well there is always Teen Wolf. 

I give the film overall a 4 out of 5 stars for its mixture of adrenaline and sentimental appeal.    

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