AMERICAN ASSASSIN Review: Jason Bourne Light

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AMERICAN ASSASSIN Review by Lisa Johnson Mandell

American Assassin reviewMove over Matt Damon and Charlize Theron. There’s a new CIA black op in town, and he’s younger, tougher and almost as pretty as you are. If American Assassin, based on the popular Vince Flynn novel of the same name, doesn’t quite have the gravitas or brutal artistry its predecessors do, it can be forgiven. All their shaky cam makes me seasick anyway.

Director Michael Cuesta’s American Assassin is a spy thriller about a hip, hot millennial (Dylan O’Brien) who loses his fiance in a terrorist attack and becomes a rogue assassin in retaliation (as you do). Michael Keaton (who appears to have been cast to give the film some added gravitas–it works) plays Hurley, the black ops leader who reigns him in.

Together with the American Assassin version of James Bond’s M, played broodingly by Sanaa Lathan, they must foil an international mercenary  (Taylor Kitsch) a fine fix for those of you still missing Tim Riggins from Friday Night Lights (guilty as charged). He’s trying to get his finger on a nuclear button, and it’s up to the CIA to stop him.

If you fear this film is a little too been there, done that, don’t worry — it’s not. O’Brien, whom you’ve probably never seen before in Maze Runner, Deep Water Horizon or the TV series Teen Wolf, is fun, fresh and engaging. He’s the kind of guy Millennials want to date, and Baby Boomers want their daughters to bring home, despite, or perhaps because of, the fact that he’s playing the toughest guy on the planet.

And if that’s not enough, Keaton’s gleeful ear biting scene is worth the price of admission alone.

Rated R

1 Hour 51 Minutes

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AMERICAN ASSASSIN Review: Jason Bourne Light

by Lisa Johnson Mandell

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Staci Layne Wilson

Staci Layne Wilson

Staci Layne Wilson is an accomplished writer / director / producer / film critic and the author the bestseller So L.A. - A Hollywood Memoir. Find her on

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