Saturday, 19 November 2016

True Memoirs of an International Assassin (2016) - Netflix Review

So here we are again, another week, another Netflix original. This time there's no Adam Sandler in sight, but it's his buddy Kevin James taking to the small screen. This action comedy stars James as an aspiring author, writing a book about a fictional assassin. He is a stickler for detail and makes sure his story is realistic, so he gets his info from a former government employee. 

When his book is picked up by an internet retailer, they mark it as nonfiction to encourage people to buy it, thinking they're experiencing the True Memoirs of an International Assassin. James feels a bit uneasy with the lie, but goes along with it when his book starts making sales. Using the alias of a former assassin ("The Ghost"), James is kidnapped by a Venezuelan guerrilla group, who kidnap him and force him to kill their crooked president.

This leads to James going between all the major players in Venezuela and the CIA, trying to figure out how to escape without actually having to murder anyone, or get murdered himself.
So the story is rather predictable, but the way it's played is done well. When people get shot, it looks good. There's blood, and it has a surprisingly gritty realism about it. That, plus the choreography for some of the fights were good. Some of the CGI is naff, but I kinda expected that from a Netflix film. I don't know... I was engrossed in this film at the start, I had no major issues with any of the characters and seemed to be moving at a good pace, but I feel that it gave itself too much to do in the final third, having to tie up too many lose ends, making it feel bloated and rushed.

Having James as the author, going into his made up world to imagine the out come of his actions, worked well, but when he goes full badass later on, it just felt misplaced. Yes, he trained in hand to hand combat, and spent time at a shooting range, but I enjoyed him more when he was trying to avoid the conflict rather then embrace it, and not resolve everything by just killing people.

All an all, this ended up being a generic action comedy with action scenes that worked well, but with few laughs to be had. I enjoyed Kevin James, and loved the fact there was no fart jokes. I felt like the first half of this film was far superior to the second half, but in the end the film grew to be a bit tedious. I'd rate this film a generous 4/10: it's a step in the right direction, but falls short at the end. Less characters, and a bungling James through out, would have made for a more enjoyable film. Richee 

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