American Assassin Review – Fast Action, Solid, Gripping

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

American Assassin, from Lionsgate and CBS Films, presents a fast action, contemporary thrill ride through the inner sanctums of the CIA, Special Forces, and Black Ops Units, with an authentic solid, global terror, story line.

Directed by Michael Cuesta, American Assassin stars Dylan O’Brien, Michael Keaton, Sanaa Lathan, Shiva Negar, Charlotte Vega, David Suchet, Michael Wildman, Scott Adkins, Taylor Kitsch, Emily White, Shani Erez  and was written by Stephen Schiff and Michael Finch. American Assassin was produced by Lorenzo di Bonaventura.

American Assassin begins on the beach in Ibiza Spain. We met an American couple, Mitch Rapp, played by Dylan O’Brien and Katrina, played by Charlotte Vega, young and in love.

The two are happy, on vacation, when suddenly our guy Mitch man’s up, pulls out the ring and, if he weren’t in waist high water in the Mediterranean he would have taken the knee, and asks Katrina to marry him. Of course she says yes and the two take a few selfies in the water, film the engagement video. To toast the event he runs off to get drinks at the bar.


Sneak Peek Review & Celebrity Interview: Hany Abu-Assad, Director of The Mountain Between Us

Suddenly, out of nowhere, the sounds of firecrackers, start to pop. The next minutes are filled with tourists trying to outrun the terrorists who have made this resort scene a killing field. Mitch, shot in the shoulder is running to where he left Katrina, and just as she calls his name a bullet catches her in the chest. By then he’s been hit twice and the terrorists walks over to Katrina and ends any hope shooting her in the head.

The film moves to 18 months in the future, Mitch has returned to the states, of course unable to shake the trauma, he has taken a different route. Plotting what he believes is the perfect revenge plan, he develops himself into a one make killing machine with a one man target. He learns every mercenary skill necessary, he believes, and engages in chat room recruitment with the fanatics who troll the internet looking for the disenfranchised.

Part of any Terrorist infiltration is knowing everything, not just the hand to hand and physical, and Mitch also studied the playbooks these zealots use to rationalize their religious hatred. Soon he has been summoned and is in Tripoli.

As soon as he arrives, he follows orders and is taken to terrorists headquarters to be grilled, interrogated by the terrorist who are hoping for a reason to kill him, as someone without the leadership of the Islamic State has deemed him viable, authentic and useable. Just as he began to respond, the room is blasted and the Americas who have been watching Mitch for over a year, take him to CIA headquarters.

It’s here we meet CIA Director Irene Kennedy, played by Sanaa Lathan, Director Stansfield, played by David Suchet and Stan Hurley, played by Michael Keaton.

Mitch is really unconcerned as he is interrogated this time by the good guys, Director Irene Kennedy, and as they are aware of him surviving the Ibiza terrorist attack, they seem to be more curious as they realize he was driven by revenge and was able to infiltrate, at a high level, this fringe branch which is more than the CIA has been able to accomplish.

Soon Kennedy is arguing with Director Stansfield, played by David Suchet, on the merits of recruiting Mitch to complete the task he started. His background fits the usual CIA profile, his scores are “off the chart” his polygraph is clean.

American Assassin is a bad ass, gripping, modern film that doesn’t play down the world’s instability as the CIA and other elite national security agencies meet to stop those looking to inflict mass casualty, injury and create a global dominance.

As in any of these types of films, it is a race against time, and with American Assassin, the playing field and the rules change  quickly as the terrorists move and as usual are well funded.

With a shockingly realistic beginning, only two things are possible, either a complete and humiliating fall or bigger weaving in more realism into the world of international terrorism and global politics and agendas. Which is of course what happens, with Lorenzo Di Bonaventura producing one expects heightened action, faster, snappier, a greater degree of edge of your seat thrills.


Celebrity Interview: Speaking with Phil Rudd of AC/DC on New Album and Euro Tour


Michael Keaton really digs into this role and the audience sees only the here and now. Nothing from his storied film career creeps in as he plays Stan Hurley, CIA Special Ops lead. We meet our CIA field team, comprised of Hurley, Mitch Rapp, Victor, played by Scott Adkins, and Annika, played by Shiva Negar,  

Sanaa Lathan is able to handle the complexities and deliver a genuine performance as the Director for the CIA with its international leaders and global instabilities.

The entire cast delivers shockingly truthful performances as they travel across Europe in this race against time as the mission changes and they are left to adapt as a rouge ghost shows up attempting to disband his old team on his terms.

American Assassin is solid. A highspeed action storyline that doesn’t shy away from the realities of European life and lifestyle with the possibility of a mass shooting happening at any time.

With the CIA Black Ops units portrayed, one can expect elevated technology training, simulation that is state of the art and when the team hits the street plenty of revenge and control killing, car chases, and expected violence.

American Assassin opens in theaters Friday, September 15, 2017. See this film.

 

Haute Tease

  • Proverb: A Story of the Second Civil War – Finish The Summer with A Real Political Thriller

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Proverb: A Story of the Second Civil War, a novel by Brian McCracken, the first volume of a trilogy,  is the story of family, loyalty to country, changing times and the damage, devastation and alienation polarized thinking produces.

     
  • LA 92 Review - Graphic, Brutal, Shocking Footage of LA Riots

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    LA 92, the National Geographic documentary, is one of four films that have been released on the Rodney King verdict and subsequent violence that erupted almost immediately and continued over a three-day period in April 1992.

     
  • The Orphan Keeper Review – Astounding, Inspirational, Remarkable

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    The Orphan Keeper, from Shadow Mountain Publishing, tells an epic story of a boy kidnapped from India, sold to an orphanage and adopted to the United States over 8,000 miles away and the miracle that would follow.

     
  • Image Entertainment Goes Off The Beaten Path In “Roadside”

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

     LOS ANGELES (December 10, 2014) – Image Entertainment, an RLJ Entertainment (NASDAQ: RLJE) brand, has acquired all US rights to the action thriller ROADSIDE.  Written and directed by Eric England (Madison County, Contracted), the film stars Ace Marrero ("Scorpion," "Body of Proof"), Katie Stegeman (Madison County, Contracted), Lionel D. Carson ("The Unit") and Jack E. Curenton ("Tim and Eric Awesome Show").  Mark Ward, RLJ Entertainment's Senior Vice President of Acquisitions for the Image brands, made the announcement today.  

     
  • VIP Grand Canyon Helicopter Picnic Tour Review – High, Mighty and Loving it

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    When visiting Las Vegas there's no better VIP experience than buzzing the famed strip by helicopter en route to a tour of the Grand Canyon—especially one paired with a champagne picnic in the colossal canyon, itself. And, no company does this better than Sundance Helicopters that for nearly 30 years has been making passengers feel high and mighty in Sin City.

Crime

  • Columbia Rape Accuser Continues Protest Project

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Columbia University rape accuser Emma Sulkowicz, determined to have her accused rapist suspended from the Ivy league University maintained her vigil of protest, and carried a mattress the symbol of the weight and burden rape victims carry daily to the 2015 Class Day Ceremonies.

     
  • Kim Kardashian West Robbed at Gunpoint; Kanye West Cancels Concert Mid-Song Citing "Family Emergency"

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Kim Kardashian West, reality television star and wife of musician Kanye West, was robbed at gunpoint of $10million dollars in jewelry while staying at a private residence in Paris for Fashion Week, according to media reports and her publicist.

     
  • PA Mom, Lover Held In Torture Murder of Toddler

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Scott McMillan, 3, according to the Chester County Township District Attorney Tom Hogan, was the victim of sadistic torture and repeated beatings, of which killed him after a beating spree that began after he refused to eat breakfast.

     
  • Five Dead; Nine Injured in Ft. Lauderdale Airport Shooting

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    A lone gunman has been taken into custody at Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood Florida, Airport after firing multiple shots killing five and injuring nine. Real time tweets from former Presidential Press Secretary Ari Fleischer provided actual, real time, credible information.

     
  • People Exclusive: Husband of Murdered Texas Fitness Instructor Shares Theory on Who Killed His Wife: 'It Had to Be Someone She Knew'

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Brandon Bevers, the husband of a Texas fitness instructor who was found dead inside a church last month just before she was to teach an early morning class, believes his wife knew her killer.

Theatre, Music, Books

  • Interstellar Soundtrack with Music By Hans Zimmer Out In Time For The Holidays

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    (October 28, 2014 – Los Angeles, CA) WaterTower Music today proudly announces the November 18 release of Interstellar: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack, with music by renowned composer Hans Zimmer, whose career has earned him Grammy, Golden Globe, Classical Brit, Academy, Tony, and American Music Awards.

     
  • Living A Life That Matters: A Memoir of the Marquis de Lafayette Review – Surprisingly Interesting

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Penned by renowned Civil Rights attorney David M. Weitzman, Living A Life That Matters will not jump off the shelf for the causal bookstore window shopper. The title, the image all suggest an intellectual read reserved for professors, scholars, politicians and the like.  

  • Something Rotten Review – Raucous Surprises, a Roaring Good Time

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Something Rotten!, Broadway’s newest musical, is so fun it's hard to say for sure who was having a better time at the St. James Theater the other night, the audience or the actors and musicians on stage.  

     
  • NYPD Green Book Review - Page Turning Detective Thriller

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    NYPD Green, a memoir from Luke Waters, details his life from undocumented Irish immigrant to ranking detective in one of the largest police departments in the world solving horrendous cases and the interactions and working with other judicial agencies.

     
  • Honeymoon In Vegas Review – Go For The Music, Stay For The Elvis Impersonators

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Writing reviews to send out is actually quite difficult for me.  The truth is, I’m a theatre snob, and I’m pretty hard to please.  Without creative geniuses such as Rodgers and Hammerstein, Leonard Bernstein, or even Stephen Sondheim, it’s hard for me to give my endorsement.  Not this time.  You will love ‘Honeymoon In Vegas’.