American Assassin (2017)

Film and Plot Synopsis

In American Assassin, after suffering a horrible tragedy as a result of a terrorist attack in Spain, Mitch Rapp is on a quest to punish those who he feels were responsible. His mission for revenge leads him to working for a secret black operations team under the command of a former U.S. Navy Seal, Stan Hurley. When a large amount of weapons grade plutonium is stolen, it is up to Rapp and Hurley to make sure that the plutonium does not fall into terrorist hands. But when a former agent of Hurley’s begins working with the terrorists, their assignment becomes much more dangerous.

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‘American Assassin’ Movie Summary

The summary below contains spoilers.
American Assassin (2017)American Assassin begins in Ibiza, Spain. Mitch Rapp (Dylan O’Brien) and his girlfriend Katrina Harper (Charlotte Vega) are relaxing on the beach while on their vacation. Mitch proposes and Katrina accepts. Suddenly, a jihadist cell appears on the beach and begins killing the tourists with assault rifles. Mitch is shot, but he still fights to get to Katrina to protect her. However, he watches helplessly as she is killed by the terrorists and Mitch is shot for a second time, but survives.

Eighteen months later, Mitch is obsessed with revenge and frequents websites seeking information about the terrorist group responsible for his fiancée’s death. He is able to arrange a meeting with the terrorist responsible for the attack over the internet. Mitch plans to avenge his girlfriend, but his vengeance is interrupted by an ambush by U.S. Special Forces who kill the terrorist and his cell. In his frustration, Mitch continues to stab the corpse of the terrorist. Mitch is taken into custody and turned over to the CIA. He undergoes thirty days of debriefing before he is offered a chance by CIA Deputy Director Irene Kennedy (Sanaa Lathan) to join a black operations unit code-named Orion. Orion is led by former U.S. Navy Seal and Cold War veteran Stan Hurley (Michael Keaton) who trains all his recruits in asymmetric warfare.

Meanwhile, a large amount of weapons grade plutonium has been stolen from a decommissioned Russian nuclear facility. Iranian hardliners, who are upset with the Iranian government’s nuclear deal with the United States, are the expected buyers. However, the plutonium is stolen in Poland by an unknown third party after he kills the sellers. When Hurley sees the news reports, he believes that the third party is likely a former Orion operative that was believed to be dead. The operative, who now has the code-name Ghost, was close to Hurley, but would often disobey orders, much like Mitch does. Hurley and his team is sent to Turkey to intercept and kill Ghost and his potential buyer.

In Istanbul, Hurley’s operative is identified at the exchange between Ghost and the seller of a trigger device for the bomb. Hurley’s operative is killed and Ghost escapes. However, Mitch disobeys orders and pursues the seller to his apartment. He kills the seller and retrieves his laptop. Once the laptop is examined, Hurley’s team goes to Rome in an attempt to identify the nuclear physicist that Ghost needs to craft the nuclear material into a functional nuclear weapon. Ghost makes the team, and attacks them while they are surveilling the physicist. Once again, Ghost escapes. However, Mitch discovers that one of the other agents, Annika (Shiva Negar), is a foreign agent for Iran.

She explains that she works for the mainstream Iranian faction which is attempting to stop the acquisition of the nuclear material by the hardliners. Annika works for an acquaintance of Hurley’s in the Iranian intelligence, so the head of Orion schedules a meeting with him. Ghost ambushes the meeting, killing the Iranian intelligence officer and kidnapping Hurley.

At the safe house, the CIA is moving Annika to a more secure facility, and Mitch has been ordered to return to Virginia. Once again, Mitch disobeys orders, and takes out the guards transporting Annika. After freeing Annika, she and Mitch locate the underground headquarters that Ghost is using to build the nuclear device. Mitch is able to free Hurley, but Annika is captured by Ghost. Ghost uses her as human shield, but Annika kills herself with Ghost’s gun rather than let herself be used as bargaining piece. Ghost escapes onto a boat and activates the nuclear bomb. Ghost’s intent is to detonate the weapon near the United States Navy’s Sixth Fleet, which is practicing maneuvers just off shore. Mitch pursues Ghost while Hurley notifies the Fleet.

On board Ghost’s boat, Mitch kills Ghost and attempts to steer the boat away from the fleet. Hurley catches up to the boat in a helicopter and tells Mitch to throw the bomb overboard, which will reduce the destructive impact of the bomb. Mitch jumps onboard the hovering helicopter, which races to get a safe distance away. The bomb detonates, and the concussive wave and tsunami that follow cause damage to the Sixth Fleet, but no lives are lost.

In the aftermath, Hurley is visited by Kennedy while he recovers from his injuries. Hurley reports to the CIA director that Mitch is on vacation in Dubai. They watch a new report indicating that the Iranian faction which tried to obtain the nuclear weapon will win the presidential election. The two look at each other realizing what Mitch’s plans are. In Dubai, the faction candidate and his escorts get onto an elevator in which Mitch is already present.

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Lionsgate released American Assassin on September 15, 2017. Michael Cuesta directed the film starring Dylan O'Brien, Michael Keaton, and Sanaa Lathan.

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