No one can hide from revenge. I’m giving American Assassin an A-.
When Mitch Rapp (Dylan O’Brien) loses his girlfriend to a terrorist attack right after getting engaged on a Spanish beach, he sets out to infiltrate and bring down those responsible. But he didn’t count on the CIA being interested in his new skill set. Stan Hurley (Michael Keaton) becomes Rapp’s black ops trainer and mentor as they set out to find who has abducted enough plutonium to start World War 3.
Based on the series of books by the late Vince Flynn, American Assassin feels like a younger Jack Reacher or Mission Impossible movie with the sexy Dylan O’Brien taking off his shirt or brooding for the camera every chance he gets. Dylan is a better action hero than Cruise was, and his youth will allow for more longevity with this series. But when you finally get to see Michael Keaton, the movie becomes Beetlejuice training Teen Wolf (both actors’ previous roles). At times, Michael’s facial mania recalls his famous characters and viewers aren’t sure if they are watching Batman or Stan! You have to love a man who can bite the ear off another man and enjoy it while being tortured.
But don’t think that American Assassin has eye candy for only the ladies. The beautiful Shiva Negar is Annika, a deep undercover American CIA operative who knows how to charm European bank heads and install secret cameras with a smile all while wearing heels. But it’s the beauty of the US Navy’s Sixth Fleet which might get male viewers’ attention as they prepare for a nuclear explosion. Which spy movie can claim to rattle an aircraft carrier without losing a single plane?
American Assassin begins as a typical spy thriller movie but amps up the surprises. Just when you think you know who the bad guys are, a new twist is thrown into play and surprise! While other spy franchises are beginning to feel a little old and worn out, American Assassin will keep viewers on the edge of their seats.
It knows your fears and feeds on them. I give It: The Movie a B.
Based on the Stephen King novel, It tells the story of seven kids in the 1980’s who set out to uncover the reason for the disappearance of the children of Derry, Maine. Bill Denbrough lost his brother one day when he made Georgie a boat to play with in the rain. He’s determined to find out what happened to him. When he and the rest of his friends begin encountering a demented clown who gives them each their own fears, Bill and his friends must band together to end the clown, Pennywise’s (played by Bill Skarsgård) reign of terror.
Unlike the previous mini-series, this movie focuses on when the children battle Pennywise, eventually sending him back to the well. This movie is only the first chapter since a second movie is planned which will focus on 27 years in the future when Pennywise returns. Feeling more like a “Goonies” or “Stand By Me” movie than a horror story, the clown is frightening but it’s the coming together of the seven nerds who learn to stand up for themselves against bullies and the evil clown which is the true heart of the story.
Sadly, Pennywise isn’t the only evil in Derry. We have a father who is raping his daughter, a mother with Munchausen’s syndrome who is drugging her son all while she sits in front of the television and feeds her face. We have racial bullying and fat shaming by the “cool” kids who we learn are really just kids dealing with the violence in their own homes. It’s no wonder people believe the town of Derry is cursed. The adults who live in this town are psychotic. I don’t believe I saw a single one in the movie which wasn’t messed up.
While the young cast did an amazing job, the story felt like it was missing more of the horror aspects. Pennywise was creepy but not jump out and frighten you scary. It’s also hard not to compare the previous mini-series with the movie. Maybe because most people saw the original It as something truly terrifying which kept them up at night but this movie didn’t live up to that fear. Could it be because they had been children seeing it previously? It’s one of the challenges of a remake.
I’ll have to see what the second chapter holds for this remake but unless you are fan of the book, you may want to catch this on DVD.
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