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American Assassin

Initial releaseSeptember 8, 2017 (Norway)

DirectorMichael Cuesta

Budget40 million USD

Adapted fromAmerican Assassin

Story byVince Flynn

 

The movie starts dramatically with Mitch Rapp confronting tragedy moments early on after proposing to his finance on an Ibiza beach, his fiancée is gunned down by Islamic terrorists.

 

He’s also angry — he’s thrown out of his MMA club for fighting too violently, then out of his gun club for shooting too violently, then he’s reprimanded by his landlord for making noise after 10pm. But this combat training has a purpose.

 

He intends to infiltrate a terrorist cell and murder them in retribution. He’s half successful — during his initiation into the cell a CIA squad burst in and do the killing for him. Impressed with his work (they couldn’t have found the cell without him) they recruit him, sending him off to grizzled, no-nonsense ex-Navy Seal Stan Hurley (Keaton) to be trained properly.

 

The lead character appears like the guy next door – so the tough no nonsense street fighter takes a lot of time to stick – if at all. His trainer Keaton appears to enjoy spitting out lines such as “The enemy dresses like a deer and kills like a lion, which is what we’ve got to do” with knowing relish, but he appears to be the only one.

 

The film never settles on an appealing tone – it appears to reinforce the characterisation of Muslims as angry and violent. More could have been done to try to understand the basis of that anger. Typical we are going to save the world narrative – appealing to US audiences.

 

It should have done to more to add to human element as when he appears to get closer to Arab colleague on one of his assignments. It is nevertheless sufficiently enthralling to watch.

 

Now showing at New Capital Cinemas Riverwalk.

 

 

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