‘American Assassin’ lives up to the hype and then some. The movie is anchored by an awesome performance from ‘Teen Wolf’ star Dylan O’Brien and will undoubtedly make him one of the next great action stars.
American Assassin doesn’t start out like you would expect an action movie to start out. Mitch Rapp (Dylan O’Brien) is just your typical 20-something on vacation with his girlfriend. He plans an adorable proposal, and you just have a feeling something terrible is about to happen. The next thing you know, Mitch’s fiancee is dead after a vicious terrorist attack on the beach. The loss of Mitch’s fiancee pushes him to the edge, and Mitch becomes hellbent on taking down the terrorists who killed her and so many other innocent people.
Mitch beefs up, trains hard, learns how to handle numerous weapons, and studies Arabic to make sure that he’s unstoppable. His underground work as a vigilante doesn’t go unnoticed. CIA counterterrorism chief Irene Kennedy (Sanaa Lathan) hones in on Mitch and convinces him to join her team. She brings him to train with Stan Hurley (Michael Keaton), an esteemed Cold War veteran, whose training methods are extreme but effective. Mitch, Stan, and Irene have to work together to stop a mysterious and unhinged former operative (Taylor Kitsch) from using a nuclear weapon to cause unfathomable destruction.
Dylan tackles the role of Mitch Rapp, a beloved fictional character in a series of novels by the late Vince Flynn, with fierceness and a magnetism that’s rarely seen among young Hollywood stars. He’s already shown his superb acting chops over the course of six seasons on Teen Wolf as the ultimate sidekick Stiles Stilinski, but American Assassin shows that Dylan can hold his own as a leading man, even more so than his role as Thomas in The Maze Runner movies.
Michael has never had more fun than he has playing Stan Hurley. The Oscar nominee is terrific as Mitch’s manic and cynical leader. There’s one particularly gruesome scene in the movie that Michael — literally and figuratively — chews up. Taylor and Sanaa round out the stellar cast.
As someone who hasn’t always been the biggest fan of action movies, American Assassin had me on the edge of my seat the entire time. With some amazingly choreographed fight scenes, a vast visual landscape that will take you all across the world, and a hero that you root for from the second he steps on the screen, American Assassin is a solid origin story for what could be Hollywood’s next big action franchise.
HollywoodLifers, are you going to go see American Assassin? Let us know!