As­sas­sin seems all too fa­mil­iar

The London Free Press - - MOVIES - CHRIS KNIGHT NA­TIONAL POST C6) Watch a trailer for YouTube on Watch a trailer for on YouTube Watch a trailer for on YouTube Christoph Waltz and Ali­cia Vikan­der star in Page C6) Ex­cel­lent Very good Good — HOME­COM­ING Fair Poor

From its rogue op­er­a­tives to its dou­ble-crosses and “don’t trust any­one” speeches, stolen nukes and a splash of Euro-lo­cales, Amer­i­can As­sas­sin is a new spy movie that feels a lot like all the old spy movies. Call it The Bourne Sim­u­lacrum.

Dy­lan O’Brien (The Maze Run­ner) stars as Mitch Rapp, set on a trail of bloody vengeance when ter­ror­ists gun down his fi­ancé of five min­utes while the two are on a re­sort va­ca­tion. Lit­tle more than a year later, Mitch has be­come a self­made, one-man expert in Qur’anic wis­dom, the Ara­bic lan­guage and weapons tech­nol­ogy. He’s then re­cruited by the CIA, which wants him to come in from the cold.

Sanaa Lathan is deputy di­rec­tor Irene Kennedy, but Mitch’s real con­tact in the agency is Stan Hur­ley, played by Michael Keaton in the type of role that gen­er­ally goes to Kevin Cost­ner these days (see Jack Ryan: Shadow Re­cruit, 3 Days to Kill). Keaton is hav­ing far more fun than you will at this movie.

Mitch’s train­ing makes for a manly ap­pren­tice­ship, con­ver­sa­tion in­ter­spersed with fight­ing and the oc­ca­sional elec­tric shock. Pupil and teacher are con­stantly feel­ing each other out, search­ing for weak­nesses. If there weren’t a com­mon threat in the form of black-mar­ket plu­to­nium, they’d prob­a­bly kill each other.

In­stead, Mitch and the rest of Stan’s team have to track down and elim­i­nate the bad guys be­fore they can build a nu­clear trig­ger and hi­jack a physi­cist. Just about ev­ery­one men­tions at some point that Mitch shouldn’t be trusted — and it turns out they’re right — but Stan What: Drama di­rected by Justin Chad­wick

Synop­sis: In 17th cen­tury Am­s­ter­dam, at the height of the no­to­ri­ous tulip craze, a young bride (Ali­cia Vikan­der) be­gins an af­fair with the artist (Dane DeHaan) hired to paint her por­trait. Now they need only de­ceive her hus­band (Christoph Waltz) to be to­gether. With Judi Dench, Cara Delev­ingne, Hol­l­i­day Grainger. Dy­lan O'Brien and Shiva Ne­gar star in Amer­i­can As­sas­sin, a new spy movie that feels a lot like a lot of old spy movies, ex­cept with un­be­liev­able shoot­ing and chase scenes.

is will­ing to look the other way as long as he gets re­sults.

Oc­ca­sion­ally these re­sults re­quire quick shoot­ing and even quicker think­ing, or no think­ing at all; it’s hard to tell the dif­fer­ence some­times. Other times it’s quick driv­ing, with Mitch slalom­ing around per­fectly spaced cars on the streets of Rome. This is where your sus­pen­sion of dis­be­lief may be bro­ken, since if there’s one tru­ism about Ro­man traf­fic, it’s that the cars are never even close to per­fectly spaced.

A quar­tet of writ­ers adapted Amer­i­can As­sas­sin from the 2010 novel, di­rected by Michael Cuesta (TV’s Home­land). The cast is a mostly for­get­table lot of snarling Clas­si­fi­ca­tion: 14A

Where: Hy­land Cin­ema, 240 Wharn­cliffe Rd. (519-913-0312) (See Movieguide, Page Tulip Fever

vil­lains and sac­ri­fi­cial he­roes, although Ira­nian-born Shiva Ne­gar does a good job as the req­ui­site ex­otic in­tel­li­gence agent and pos­si­ble love in­ter­est.

Still, the fo­cus re­mains squarely on O’Brien, whom you can see treat­ing this as an ex­tended screen test for a hoped-for fran­chise. Af­ter all, with 13 Mitch Rapp nov­els al­ready on the book­shelf from Vince Flynn, and three more by Kyle Mills since the orig­i­nal au­thor’s death, there’s am­ple op­por­tu­nity for Rapp to re­turn. Let’s just hope he finds some­thing to dis­tin­guish him­self from the Jack Ryans, Jack Bauers and Ethan Hunts of the world. “Based on a novel” is about the only thing novel about it. Run­ning

(out of five)

What: Spy thriller di­rected by Michael Cuesta

Star­ring: Dy­lan O'Brien, Shiva Ne­gar, Michael Keaton

Clas­si­fi­ca­tion: 18A

Where: Imag­ine Cin­e­mas, Land­mark Cin­e­mas, Sil­verCity, West­mount & VIP Cin­e­mas, Galaxy Cin­e­mas, St. Thomas

(See Movieguide, As­sas­sin Amer­i­can

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Tulip Fever On the Web On the Web

Here are the most pop­u­lar video rentals in Lon­don last week.

1. Me­gan Leavey

2. Baywatch

3. Goon: Last of the En­forcers

4. Rough Night

5. Walk­ing Dead Sea­son 7

6. All Eyez On Me

7. Raw

8. In­con­ceiv­able

9. Se­cu­rity

10. King Arthur: Leg­end of the Sword

Jumbo Video

Tulip Fever.

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