Netflix Michael Keaton Action Thriller Finally Gets The Recognition It Deserves

By Jacob VanGundy | Published

american assassin

The 2017 Michael Keaton action thriller American Assassin has cracked the top ten movies on Netflix. It can be hard for a movie that flies under the radar on release to find an audience in the modern streaming age, which is why it’s always exciting to see this one get some recognition. Over half a decade after its theatrical release, the movie has unexpectedly found its way into the streaming giant’s top ten. While the days of the all-knowing video rental clerk are long gone it is nice to see this kind of unexpected resurgence. 

A Teen Wolf And A Batman

american assassin

American Assassin features a star-studded cast with Dylan O’Brien playing the lead character, CIA agent Mitch Rapp. O’Brien is best known for his role in Teen Wolf but he’s also starred in movies like Deepwater Horizon, Bumblebee, and Love and Monsters. However, for many, the most exciting casting in American Assassin is Michael Keaton of Batman fame who plays the Cold War era CIA veteran Stan Hurley. 

The Story Of American Assassin

american assassin

The plot of American Assassin follows many of the same beats as other action spy thrillers, following Mitch Rapp’s exploits joining a CIA black ops team in the aftermath of his fiance’s tragic death. Rapp’s personal vendetta brings him into a world of espionage, assassinations, and political intrigue as he becomes embroiled in an international incident. The heart of the movie is his relationship with Michael Keaton’s surly former Navy SEAL who becomes his mentor.

Critics Didn’t Love American Assassin

american assassin

Perhaps unsurprising for an old-school action movie, American Assasin wasn’t highly regarded by critics on release, getting only 34 percent on Rotten Tomatoes. However, it earned over $67 million on a $33 million budget making its sudden appearance on Netflix’s top ten a bit less of a surprise. It’s the sort of fun if mindless spy thriller that makes for a fun popcorn movie, rather than approached with a critical eye. 

Adapted From A Decades-Old Novel Series

While the character Mitch Rapp and his action-packed spy exploits are new to the world of movies, American Assasin is based on a book by the same name, which is part of an extensive series of spy novels that go back decades. The novels were originally written by Vince Flynn though the series changed hands with Kyle Mills taking the series over after Flynn’s death in 2013. Fans of the movie should find this optimistic as it means there’s plenty of source material for potential sequels. 

American Assassin Streaming On Netflix

American Assassin is one of many properties to find success on Netflix adapted from a series of novels. The movie’s sudden success on the platform and its wealth of source material could be good news for potential follow-ups. However, fans shouldn’t get too excited just yet, as of now there are no plans in place to continue the series. 

Fans of Michael Keaton, Dylan O’Brien, and spy thrillers may find American Assassin right up their alley. It’s streaming on Netflix where it’s found a surprise post-release audience years after the fact. Check it out for yourself and see what the hype is all about.