American Assassin is far too feverish, says Rashid Irani | movie reviews | Hindustan Times
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American Assassin is far too feverish, says Rashid Irani

A band of terrorists, a lone ranger, a nuclear conspiracy — all of it goes nowhere, and takes a long time getting there.

movie reviews Updated: Sep 15, 2017 18:08 IST
Rashid Irani
Pointless subplots and empty love interests slam the brakes on what should have been a pacy thriller about a young man (Dylan O’Brien) out to avenge his fiancee’s murder.
Pointless subplots and empty love interests slam the brakes on what should have been a pacy thriller about a young man (Dylan O’Brien) out to avenge his fiancee’s murder.
AMERICAN ASSASSIN
  • Direction: Michael Cuesta
  • Actors: Dylan O’Brien, Michael Keaton
  • Rating: 2 / 5

This adaptation of a pulp thriller by Vince Flynn (who wrote 15 more novels featuring super-agent Mitch Rapp) is never quite as involving as it should have been.

The hero (Dylan O’Brien) is on a mission to slay the terrorists who gunned down his fiancée, but there is no force and even less finesse in this genre flick.

The globe-spanning plot is set in motion when tragedy strikes the vacationing couple at a beach in Spain.

Eighteen months later, the angry young man has grown an unkempt beard, become a linguist and infiltrated the lair of the killer terrorists.

Before you can say ‘gotcha’, a band of CIA operatives has sabotaged his gameplan and killed all the jihadists. End of film? You wish.

The only thing that makes the film watchable at all is the supercharged performance by Michael Keaton in the role of trainer / mentor.

Director Michael Cuesta (Kill the Messenger) wallows in bloodletting and scenes of graphic violence. For a shade of difference, the deputy director of the CIA is portrayed by an African-American actress (Sanaa Lathan).

The obligatory female interest is provided by a Turkish liaison (Shiva Negar). A zigzag subplot about a stolen nuclear device only serves to annoy.

The only thing that makes the film watchable at all is the supercharged performance by Michael Keaton in the role of trainer / mentor.

Recommended only for desperate action junkies.