Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating * *
Cast: Dylan O’Brien, Michael Keaton, Sanaa Lathan, Shiva Negar, Taylor Litsch, David Suchet, Navid Negahban, Scott Adkins, Charlotte Vega.
It becomes a bone in which to gnaw upon when you feel certain parts of cinema toiling away at the rehash button and not finding a way to remark upon the state of the world without being able to demonise and sacrifice the high ideals in which it really should find itself producing. It is a bone that has worn thin in many ways and whilst the opening five minutes of American Assassin has brought the idea of localised terror up to date, the sense in which perhaps the general public should be careful and wary of; it is soon becomes almost a chore in which to continue with.
The wronged man, the killer in the shadows who doesn’t play by the rules and who ends saving the world, formulaic perhaps does not do the film justice in terms of action, for there is plenty of that to go round but for script, the sense of pushing even the actors to a different level, it really is one of those occasions in which a group of actors might conceivably pull of an entire film with their eyes closed and be half asleep on a glass of warm milk by bedtime for.
The trouble with formulaic is just that, it is the overwhelming predictability that comes and aside from Michael Keaton, there is no sense of personality making way through to the very heart of the film. Even then Michael Keaton does not shine, the grizzled old man he plays, dogged, determined, world-wise and with no friends to call his own, it truly feels a bitter mistake to have someone of Mr. Keaton’s aptitude turning up on set and running through the lines as if he just woke up.
There have been finer films than American Assassin that capture the attention when it comes to showing the story of the lone wolf, the man to whom turns his rage against those that wronged him, that took part of his soul away and to whom the American government wish to reap the rewards of; in all honesty and when it comes to telling a story, it might be in the best interests of the cinema goer to go and explore them.
A film that really does not lend itself any great favours, one that mistakes story telling for flag waving and patriotism of the lowest order. American Assassin comes up drastically short.
Ian D. Hall