Menu
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:  dylan o'brien michael keaton movie review movies

News Corp Australia


Maze Runner reaches a dead end

REVIEW: Even a zombie apocalypse and a people’s rebellion can’t save the final film in the Maze Runner trilogy from dying an ignominious death.

Ed Sheeran engaged to high school crush

Ed Sheeran is engaged to Cherry Seaborn. Picture: AP

He popped the question last year but keep the news private until now

Isla Fisher nostalgic about her time on Home and Away

Isla Fisher says she keeps in touch with Kate Ritchie and Tempany Deckert from Home and Away. Picture: Instagram

Isla Fisher with Kate Ritchie and Tempany Deckert on Home and Away

What's on the small screen this week

Georgie Gardner will join Karl Stefanovic as co-host of the Today show on Monday.

GEORGIE Gardner returns to Today and Ten celebrates Australia Day.

Tom Petty died of ‘accidental overdose’

Tom Petty performs onstage in 2016.

Autopsy reveals the cause of Tom Petty's death

Oprah Winfrey’s major moments

In this Nov. 20, 2013, file photo, Oprah Winfrey listens in the East Room of the White House in Washington, during a ceremony where President Barack Obama awarded Presidential Medals of Freedom.

Here are the biggest moments from Oprah’s unbelievable career.

First look: surprise Dundee reboot

Danny McBride stars as Mick Dundee’s son in the reboot.

A reboot of iconic Aussie film Crocodile Dundee has been revealed