Sunday, 18 December 2016
True Memoirs of an International Assassin (4 Stars)
Kevin James isn't the first actor you would expect to play the lead role in an action movie. His unsuitability to the role was maybe intended as the main focus of the humour in "True Memoirs of an International Assassin", but guess what? He fits the role well. It looks like his time spent as a mall cop has prepared him.
Samuel J. Larson has a boring office job, but he dreams of being a world-renowned author. After work he sits writing a book called "Memoirs of an International Assassin". To be more realistic he uses information fed to him by a drinking buddy who claims to be a retired Mossad agent. The book is accepted and published online -- download only -- by an Internet startup company. What else can Sam expect? This is the 21st Century.
One other problem of 21st Century publishing is that once an author signs over his book to a publisher it's out of his hands and can be manipulated against his will. The word "True" is added to the book's title, and it's advertised as non-fiction to make it more interesting to the public. The book becomes a big seller. Sam gets rich. But the wrong people are reading the book.
Sam is kidnapped and shipped to Venezuela by a revolutionary called El Toro. El Toro believes that Sam really is the book's main character, code-named the Ghost, and he asks him to kill the President of Venezuela. Sam escapes from El Toro, but he's kidnapped by Venezuela's biggest crime lord, a Russian called Masovich, who gives Sam the assignment to kill El Toro. The CIA have been observing Sam's movements, and they speak to General Ruiz, the president's chief advisor, about him. The general invites Sam to the palace and asks him to kill Masovich.
Sam wants to deny that he's the Ghost, but it's not that easy. Everyone who hires him as an assassin threatens to kill him if he fails. The only solution is for him to become the Ghost.
This is a hilarious film. Like Johnny English, Sam Larson is an inept international agent, but unlike Johnny English he's an intelligent man who at least knows what he should do from his research. Kevin James really can be an action hero, with the assistance of well-trained stunt men.
"True Memoirs" (I'll shorten the film's title) is a Netflix original film, so it can only be watched online. It's been given a 0% rating on the Rotten Tomatoes web site. What? Are the critics so stupid? Any film that makes me laugh so much is worth a thumbs up. If I want quality entertainment I should check what other films have been rated so poorly on Rotten Tomatoes.