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

  • Rooftop Films Presents: Opening Weekend 2015

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    The 19th Annual Rooftop Films Summer Series begins on Friday, May 29th, at principal venue, Industry City, in Sunset Park, Brooklyn, with some of the greatest new short films from around the world.

     
  • 19 Scientific and Technical Achievements To Be Honored With Academy Awards®

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    BEVERLY HILLS, CA – The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences today announced that 19 scientific and technical achievements represented by 52 individual award recipients will be honored at its annual Scientific and Technical Awards Presentation on Saturday, February 15, at The Beverly Hills Hotel.

     
  • Janus Films Announces Comprehensive Ingmar Bergman Retrospective For 2018 In Honor Of The Director's Centennial

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    No name is more synonymous with the postwar explosion of art-house cinema than Ingmar Bergman, a master storyteller who startled the world with his stark intensity and naked pursuit of the most profound metaphysical and spiritual questions.  

  • Jennifer Aniston, Sienna Miller, David Oyelowo, Chris Pratt, John Travolta And Kerry Washington To Present At 87th Oscars®

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Jennifer Aniston, Sienna Miller, David Oyelowo, Chris Pratt, John Travolta and Kerry Washington will be presenters at this year’s Oscars, show producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron announced today. The Oscars, hosted by Neil Patrick Harris, will air on Sunday, February 22, live on ABC.

     
  • Romney’s Romp - Road to the White House - Election 2012 - Week Five

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Mitt Romney, the former Massachusetts governor, roared back from his bitter South Carolina defeat, winning both Florida’s Primary and the Nevada Caucus proving he’s the GOP front man to beat.

Crime

  • Misclassification of Homicide Case Aids Murderer in Escaping Justice; FBI Offers Reward

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Brittanee Drexel, of Rochester, New York, was last seen in 2009 leaving a beachfront hotel in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, according to hotel surveillance cameras, the FBI said in a recently released statement and simply vanished.

     
  • Michael Skakel, Kennedy Cousin, Set To Be Released

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Michael Skakel, nephew to the late Robert F. Kennedy, is set to be released from the Connecticut prison where he has spent the last 11years for the 1975 bludgeoning death of neighbor Martha Moxley.

     
  • People Exclusive: Father of Teen Missing Since 2009 Whom FBI Has Declared Was Held Captive and Murdered: 'I'm Begging Anyone To Help Us Bring Her Home'

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    For seven long years, Chad and Dawn Drexel have waited for news about what happened to their 17-year-old daughter, Brittanee Drexel, who vanished during a spring break trip to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, in 2009. 

     
  • Justice Watch: Prosecutor to Seek Death Penalty in Toddler Torture Murder

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Scott McMillan, the toddler murdered by his mother and her lover of one month, was buried one week ago in a tiny casket supplied by a local mortuary in a graveside service attended by his remaining family members, aunts, uncles, grandmother.  

     
  • Manhunt for Murder Suspect, Kidnapper James Lee DiMaggio Extends To Canadian Border

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    The manhunt for murder suspect James Lee DiMaggio has extended to the entire west coast and the Canadian and Mexican borders, as the child kidnapper has eluded police and capture for three days.

Theatre, Music, Books

  • The Tall Trees of Paris Book Review - An Exquisite, Vibrant, Introduction to The New Parisian Art Scene

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    The Tall Trees of Paris, a flamboyant coffee table art book from Portland gallery owner and curator, Matt Wagner, introduces readers to the colorful world of Parisian artists from the point of view of the artists themselves.

     
  • Plug Research Releases the Highly Anticipated Coultrains Jungle Mumbo Jumbo Project

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    On April 23rd, appreciators of soul, jazz & beat music alike rejoice as Coultrain releases his long-awaited new project, Jungle Mumbo Jumbo. Perhaps best known for his work as one half of Hawthorne Headhunters (alongside Black Spade), or as the once lead singer of Waajeed's Platinum Pied Pipers - this release marks Train's first proper solo album on a label

     
  • An A-List Line-Up of the Most Acclaimed African American Talent Join For One Night Celebrating the Spoken Word with Music and Dance

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    WordTheatre’s Storytales: Featuring celebrities performing stories from acclaimed African-American author John Edgar Wideman’s literary anthology ‘Briefs’ at the Ford Amphitheatre Saturday October 6, 2012.

     
  • HL London: Paul McCartney's LIPA Channels the Spirit of John Peel in Weekly New Music Event

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Liverpool Institute for the Performing Arts, co-founded by one of the city's most celebrated sons Paul McCartney, is launching The 2Ube, an eclectic showcase of musical talent from across the north west.

     
  • 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’.