American Assassin
Story: Mitch Rapp, is recovering from a terrorist attack when he is recruited into a covert Black Ops team under CIA figure Stan Hurley. Rapp and Hurley are then dispatched on a mission to stop a mysterious rogue operative from unleashing chaos of international proportions.

Review: 'American Assassin' is guilty of laying down the foundation for yet another potential franchise from start to finish. Mitch Rapp (Dylan O'Brien) seems to be a happy-go-lucky guy who suffers a personal loss that changes him into a man in urgent need of anger management. It's a familiar origin story firmly rooted in vengeance - one that comes in the form of a recruitment opportunity with a covert Black Ops team, one that obviously 'does not exist', and it also acts as an excuse for blatant American jingoism - as evident in the title itself.

The usual hijinks ensue - exceptionally gifted but troubled operatives encounter double-crossing, rogue agents leading to location-hopping and nuclear bombs; all these and other staples are gratuitously ticked off the list and at the end of it all, you'd be left wondering how it escalated so quickly.

Then again, what 'American Assassin' lacks in originality, it makes up in breathtaking action that is often brutal. It's the film's saving grace because of how it springs up on you unexpectedly. Some of this is hidden under clunky editing but there are ample sequences that go by without letting you off the hook. Additionally, the cast is reasonably invested in their performances which certainly doesn't hurt. Although, the one character who stands out is Michael Keaton's Stan Hurley. There's nothing new about the 'tough love' mentor he plays, but at least he embraces it in all earnest. If nothing else, it solidifies his resurgence as a reliably watchable actor.

It has become difficult for the spy/ assassin film genre to differentiate one entry from the other. In many ways, they all come across as clones following some minor variation of the same generic plot points. 'American Assassin' is no different from what we've seen before in the likes of 'John Wick' and 'Jason Bourne', but at least it's captivating enough to keep you entertained throughout its runtime. You'd probably suffer from a serious case of deja vu through it, but if you need a fix of nail-biting action, you'll definitely get your money's worth.

(Times of India)