Entertainment

Is Mitch Rapp the new Jason Bourne?

Dylan O'Brien as Mitch Rapp in a scene from the movie American Assassin.
Dylan O'Brien as Mitch Rapp in a scene from the movie American Assassin. Contributed

THE Jason Bournes and Jack Ryans of this world are seemingly out of the movie game for now. Perhaps for good.

Therefore the way is clear for a younger, hungrier, and cooler spy guy to step forth from the shadowy world of international espionage.

So say hello to (and then duck for cover from) Mitch Rapp, a can-do counter-terrorism operative rapidly and ruthlessly rising through the ranks of the CIA.

The most popular creation of the late best-selling author Vince Flynn, Rapp (played by Maze Runner heart-throb Dylan O'Brien) needs an all-stops-out origin story to find quick traction with audiences.

Dylan O'Brien in a scene from American Assassin.
Dylan O'Brien in a scene from American Assassin. Contributed



A rudimentary run-and-gun action thriller, American Assassin does the job in largely workmanlike fashion, save for the surprise sighting of prestige actor Michael Keaton (Birdman, Spotlight) getting his kicks as Rapp's tough old boot of a mentor.

We first meet Mitch Rapp in what is frankly a disturbing re-enactment of the kind of random terrorist attack that exclusively targets Western tourists at third-world holiday resorts.

One moment, Mitch is proposing marriage to his girlfriend on the beach.

Dylan O'Brien and Shiva Negar in a scene from American Assassin.
Dylan O'Brien and Shiva Negar in a scene from American Assassin. Contributed



The next moment, a squad of gunman are methodically moving up and down the shoreline, calmly shooting anyone in their path.

Suffice to say, in the aftermath of this incident, Mitch won't be booking a honeymoon, but he will have a major motivation to fight terrorism wherever he can lay his hand on it.

After single-handedly infiltrating an murderous ISIS-ish cell in the Middle East of his own accord, the CIA is sufficiently impressed to offer Mitch a starting position on their team.

Enter Stan Hurley (Keaton), a legendary coach of covert killers who has the job of shaping Mitch's 24/7 quest for personal vengeance into something with long-term political gain for US interests overseas.

Michael Keaton in a scene from American Assassin.
Michael Keaton in a scene from American Assassin. Contributed



Keaton is clearly slumming it for an easy payday here, but he doesn't just coast along on his reputation.

Whenever he shares the screen with O'Brien, the inexperienced leading man suddenly rises in stature and ability to impress.

Even if the wonky storyline propelling American Assassin doesn't quite pick you up - later, Rapp and the gang are chasing a rogue ex-agent (Taylor Kitsch) trading in dirty nukes - a completely over-the-top finale will still get you over the line.

Taylor Kitsch in a scene from American Assassin.
Taylor Kitsch in a scene from American Assassin. Contributed

 

American Assassin

Stars: Dylan O'Brien, Michael Keaton, Taylor Kitsch, Sanaa Lathan, Shiva Negar.

Director: Michael Cuesta

Rating: MA 15+

Verdict: 2.5 stars


 

Topics:  american assassin dylan o'brien michael keaton movie review movies

News Corp Australia


Under-16 Digger looks back on life well lived

Roy Crossley served as a gunner in the Second World War in the Pacific.

Enlistment was a relief to 14-year-old from Outback

Showing support for Tweed businesswomen

SUPPORTING CHARITY: Sonya Lee, Jenette Condon, Julie West, Belinda Dinsey, Sharon Styman and Katie Harley are planning the next Wisdom Embracing Youth luncheon.

Wisdom embraces youth at charity luncheon.

Burringbar residents divided over Telstra tower

PHONE RECEPTION: Burringbar might be getting a new Telstra mobile phone tower.

A Telstra mobile phone tower proposal has divided the community.

Local Partners

Australian Survivor’s strategist gets the boot

THE biggest game player of Australian Survivor is out, after a huge tribal council and the best blindside we’ve seen yet.

From Hoges to Holly for Brissie star

Hoges actor Josh Lawson has a role in a new Hollywood romantic comedy.

Josh Lawson lands a romcom role alongside a Game of Thrones star.

Openair Cinemas come to Coolangatta

Jordan Schneider, Tiana Thorburn, Jazz Pohutuhutu, Quinn Faamausili, Daniel Cameron (front) and Samoyed Darcy prepare for the upcoming Openair Cinemas at Queen Elizabeth Park, Coolangatta.

Food, drink, fun and open air flicks

What’s behind the biggest Shark Tank fights

The Shark Tank panel go to war once more.

THE Sharks reveal what really makes their blood boil.

Fans can’t believe Sofia Vergara’s Emmys date

Manolo Gonzalez-Ripoll Vergara, left, and Sofia Vergara arrive at the 69th Primetime Emmy Awards on Sunday, Sept. 17, 2017, at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles.

THE Modern Family star walked the red carpet with a handsome man.

REVEALED: Zeppelin frontman to play at Bluesfest

Former Led Zepplin Frontman Robert Plants performs on in the Mojo Tent on the 3rd night of the Blues fest. Photo Patrick Gorbunovs/ The Northern Star

Bluesfest has announced some exciting acts to play in 2018