By Reagan Miller (Lancaster, CA)
Brief Plot Summary: 23 year-old Mitch Rapp and his girlfriend Katrina are vacationing at a beach resort in Ibiza, Spain. Moments after the couple are engaged, armed gunmen belonging to a Libyan terror cell storm the resort with assault rifles. Numerous tourists are gunned down in the chaos, including Katrina. 18 months later, a grief-stricken and vengeful Rapp is living in Providence, Rhode Island, acting recklessly at MMA gyms and gun ranges. Speaking fluent Arabic, Rapp decides to meet up with the terrorists who killed his girlfriend in Tripoli, Libya. While being questioned at a compound, U.S Special Forces ambush the terrorists. Mitch spends 30 days training with the CIA. The CIA’s counter-terrorism division leader, Irene Kennedy, decides to send Rapp to meet and train with former Navy SEAL Stan Hurley. Meanwhile, a rogue operative named “Ghost” is working with Iranian terrorists to build a nuclear weapon with the intent of starting a world war in the Middle East. Mitch and allies must stop his plans or else there will be heavy losses of life!
Characters: Mitch Rapp (played by Dylan O’Brien): A 23-year old American who becomes a counter-terrorist operative following the death of his fiancée at the hands of terrorists.
Stan Hurley (played by Michael Keaton): A former Navy SEAL and Mitch’s mentor.
Irene Kennedy (played by Sanaa Lanthan): The director of the CIA’s counter-terrorism operations.
Annika (played by Shiva Negar): A Turkish agent who works with Mitch.
“Ghost” (played by Taylor Kitsch) a former member of the US Navy turned rogue. Being the film’s antagonist, he plans to build a nuclear weapon to start a world war in the Middle East.
Production Notes: American Assassin is based on a series of novels written by Vince Flynn, who died of prostate cancer in 2013 at the age of 47. The film’s budget has been estimated to be $33 million, and has made $21 million as of this review was being written. The opening beach massacre scene was actually filmed in Phuket, Thailand. Additional filming locations included London, Rome, and Valletta, Malta. The first novel to feature Mitch Rapp as a character was Transfer of Power (1999). The entire “Mitch Rapp” series of novels is a New York Times bestseller!
My opinion: Overall, This movie was enjoyable! There were plenty of great and intense action scenes to keep viewers at the edge of their seats! But the film’s opening scene is quite shocking, to say the least. It should also be noted that there is a graphic torture scene later in the film. If you love action movies, then I’d suggest you go buy your tickets for this movie! It’ll be worth it! I would like to point out that I have actually never read the novels that this movie is based on, but I have heard that Rapp is older in the novels than in the movie, since the “American Assassin” book is actually a prequel novel. This could mean that the film will most likely get a sequel based on the other novels, given if it is successful enough for a follow up.
Irene Kennedy: So, what do you remember about your parents death?
Mitch Rapp: Car crash. I was fourteen.
Irene Kennedy: You started having “discipline problems”. Kicked out of three boarding schools after that. Let’s talk about that day on the beach.
[flashback to Mitch with his girlfriend on holiday together]
Mitch Rapp: Katrina, I love you so much. Will you marry me?
Irene Kennedy: What happened?
[flashback showing a terrorist attack taking place, people are being shot]
Mitch Rapp: Katrina!
[we see a terrorist pointing a gun at Katrina and shooting her]
Irene Kennedy: You gave up everything after that, didn’t you, Mitch?
Mitch Rapp: No, not everything.