The formulaic Michael Keaton action thriller storming Netflix
(Credit: Netflix)


The formulaic Michael Keaton action thriller storming Netflix

There’s a new action-packed thriller tearing through the top ten film charts on Netflix globally. This time, it is a film starring Dylan O’Brien and Michael Keaton, and it has landed at the seventh spot on the list.

Based on Vince Flynn’s 2010 novel, American Assassin is an adrenaline-fueled flick causing quite the stir, with 11.4million hours viewed just last week. 

Directed by Michael Cuesta and written by Stephen Schiff, Michael Finch, Edward Zwick, and Marshall Herskovitz, American Assassin stars the ever-versatile Keaton, in addition to David Suchet, Taylor Kitsch, and Sanaa Lathan.

With stereotypical portrayals of Islamic radicals and heroic American spy cells galore, the story of the 2017 action thriller revolves around Mitch Rapp, a young man whose life is upended by tragedy, leading him down a path of vengeance and espionage. When Rapp catches the eye of the CIA, he’s recruited into a black ops program under the tutelage of the seasoned Cold War veteran Stan Hurley, played by Keaton. 

Despite the script’s formulaic missteps, Keaton managed to elevate the material ever so marginally. Keaton’s performance as the grizzled Hurley received praise. Critics lauded his portrayal, praising him as the standout in a popcorn flick filled with mindless pulse-pounding action. 

In Flynn’s series, Mitch Rapp works as a counter-terrorism agent who the CIA recruits after getting a ‘girlfriend in the fridge’ arc—where his fiance is killed and used as a plot device to motivate his hero’s journey. His primary mission is to stop foreign terrorist plots targeting the United States. He’s portrayed as a bold operative willing to go to extreme lengths to accomplish his goals.

Incidentally, Chris Hemsworth was being courted to play Mitch Rapp. However, Hemsworth bowed out, reportedly due to scheduling conflicts. The box office debacle of American Assassin and the critical failure compounded the death of any franchise dreams.

You can watch American Assassin on Netflix and catch the trailer here: