Mitch Rapp, played by a perversely immensely hairy Dylan o'Brien, is on vacation with his girlfriend in Spain, and after he makes a successful proposal on the beach, he goes to buy a celebratory cheers drink for the two of them. Then as if the drink selected was concocted by Satan himself, a line of terrorists massacre the beach, probably about 80% of the innocent tourists and beachers dead, including his love. Eighteen months later, Rapp is doing shady work killing as many people that he suspects could be from the group. He even grows a beard to fit in with the Middle East more. Then he is taken in by a Cold War veteran, who promises he can help Rapp get his revenge if he helps him find and stop a nuclear bomb.
I got attached to this movie because of Dylan o'Brien. He's been on my radar ever since the first Maze Runner and The Internship. I haven't seen him in Teen Wolf and I hear he's boss at it. And o'Brien ended up injured sometime in 2016 which ended up delaying production on the final Maze Runner movie, The Death Cure, which comes out in a few weeks. The fact that o'Brien was back in form and he's the star of the MR movies, which are the only two movies in a series to both get A+s from me (well, come to think of it, there's the first 2 Shrek movies) but you get my point. I was excited to see him back in action. I guess my expectations were too high...
You know? I hear there are six ways you can make a movie. And come to think of it, they're probably also talking about books and TV shows. Well, if I'm saying that in a review of mine, disgracing the entertainment community like that, then I guess I'm maybe just getting tired. But when the main character meets a tragic beginning, we see him get swooped up a long while later and is sent in for spy training at the request of a generic authority figure (played by Sanaa Lathan, who also played a boss cop in Now You See Me 2) while in a generic interrogation cell, I could feel my eyelids slouch. This felt too familiar without anything distinct at the beginning to get me invested.
Are there at least a few different things? Well, there's the simulation practice, that was kind of clever, and there's a moment where someone bites the other's ear off. There's that.
But here's the deal: I had to look up o'Brien's character name on Wikipedia for this review, as well as the other characters. The only one I didn't have to look up was Stan Hurley (Michael Keaton) only because it sounds like Spew Hurley, a fictional show host in an episode of the delightfully disgusting Grossology cartoon, where I learned feet produce two cups of sweat every day. Well, that sweat that day wasn't from any excitement from this film.
These characters were in danger, being shot at and had instances with lots of witnesses, but because none of the characters were memorable and usually they weren't in combat with the main target, it felt like background noise. A major character gets shot, and I didn't feel any sadness.
There's also a moment where Stan Hurley is captured and tortured by one of his ex students, and Rapp is hellbent on rescuing him. I didn't share his desire. Earlier on, Hurley taunts Rapp by saying he feels no sympathy for his back story on his girlfriend. He later says it was to help teach not to put his emotion into his assignments, something he ignores throughout a lot of this movie, but still, having him saved didn't seem like a big priority to me. I rooted for the former student.
There's also a story featuring a bomb of some sort, a bomb big enough to have a big say in the climax of the movie, and it leads to some admittedly fantastic CGI. But I felt it didn't make sense. Why not just have the bomb...elsewhere? It would be a lot easier and convey the message better. Where it is I won't spoil, if you still want to see the film. Or wanted to at all.
I'm still looking forward to The Death Cure, but Dylan o'Brien's attempted return to form dies out in a generic thriller with chalkboard protagonists, a lack of anything memorable, and as a result has a lot of tedious action. But it's not as bad as X-Men: Apocalypse or Skyfall, D movies that were so long and having nothing interesting going on the screen for vast amounts of time. I'll give the movie that, I guess.