Under the Radar

Mitch Rapp Saves the 6th Fleet in 'American Assassin'

"American Assassin" (out now on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray Combo Pack, DVD and Digital HD) tells the origin story of author Vince Flynn's badass CIA operative Mitch Rapp. The producers cast 26-year-old Dylan O'Brien as Rapp, in hopes that the actor could carry a long series of movies without aging out of the part by the fourth or fifth film.

Director Michael Cuesta ("Kill the Messenger," "Homeland") made an excellent movie that highlights real locations in Istanbul and Rome. O'Brien does a great job as the kid who will become Mitch Rapp and shows the ability to grow into the role over time.

The movie did okay at the worldwide box office, but there's no word yet if CBS Films wants to invest in future movies. There's a wealth of great stories in Flynn's other Mitch Rapp novels, so this has the potential to grow into a great movie series.

In "American Assassin," Rapp trains under legendary agent Stan Hurley (Michael Keaton). He's recruited after launching a one-man war on terrorism after his fiancée is killed in a beach attack.

Unfortunately, one of Hurley's star pupils has gone rogue after he was abandoned in the field. Known as "Ghost" (Taylor Kitsch), the former SEAL has vowed revenge on the United States for the suffering he experienced at the hands of his captors.

Ghost aims to take out the Navy's Sixth Fleet in the Mediterranean Sea with an nuclear bomb and Rapp is the only man who can stop him.

We can all take some solace in the fact that, at least in Flynn's fictional world, we need an actual American with special ops training to successfully pull off the nuclear terror attack the world has long feared. Even if he can't stop it, Rapp has to blunt the force of the explosion to save the day.

The fight scenes are excellent. Both O'Brien and Kitsch are young enough to pull off the action with a force that shows just how old and wheezy guys like Matt Damon and Ben Affleck are getting when they try to play action scenes.

Keaton's great as Stan Hurley and he's got a much tougher edge than he did as the villain in last summer's "Spiderman: Homecoming." Sanaa Lathan has great chemistry with both O'Brien and Keaton as CIA boss Irene Kennedy and it would be great to see the three of them play these parts again.

This may not be the movie about 40-year-old Mitch Rapp that many fans of the books were looking for, but it's a series that has potential. Here's hoping it continues.

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