REVIEW: True Memoirs of an International Assassin (2016)

Release Poster - Netflix
Release Poster – Netflix

The following is a quick review of True Memoirs of an International Assassin, a Netflix Original Film.

True Memoirs of an International Assassin follows Sam Larson – an unpublished author who also work as an accountant – as he is trying to finish a story about an assassin. When the story is finally finished, however, he has a tough time getting it published, until he meets an unconventional publicist who makes his book available online.

However, Larson is shocked when he finds out that she altered the title and published it as a non-fiction book. Dangerous people now believe Larson is an infamous assassin known only as ‘the Ghost,’ and now Larson must live as if he is the star of his book.

I like Kevin James just as much as I like Adam Sandler. I think that both of them can be very funny, and I do, honestly, enjoy watching them act. But I’m not immune to bad films. I liked neither of the currently released Netflix-Sandler films – The Do-Over and The Ridiculous Six. In fact, I think The Ridiculous Six was painful to watch and extremely offensive.

James’ new Netflix film – True Memoirs of an International Assassin – actually looked fine in the trailers, and I was looking forward to watching it because of the ludicrous premise and, actually also, due to the fact that Kevin James was in the starring role.

I was also intrigued by the director. I am by no means an expert on Jeff Wadlow’s work, but I thought Kick-Ass 2 was fine – even if isn’t anywhere close to being as good as the first film. I also got a lot more out of his feature film debut – Cry Wolf – than most people did. But I have to say that True Memoirs didn’t work for me.

Thirty minutes. That’s how long this film had me. That’s how much of the film I enjoyed. No, this, obviously, isn’t The Siege of Jadotville or Beasts of No Nation – we’re not supposed to take True Memoirs seriously. Sure, it’s just ‘junk food,’ so to speak. This is a an action comedy about a regular guy being thrown into a world that he’s not fit for. But I, honestly, only enjoyed the first thirty minutes.

I would actually say that the first five minutes of the film are better and more promising than anything I saw in The Ridiculous Six and The Do-Over. I think James really works well in these scenes, and, to be honest with you, I would have rather seen an entire film with James as the confident assassin he was writing about.

But it does become boring, uninteresting, and tough to follow at a certain point in the film. I don’t think it’s funny at all, honestly. And it’s utterly forgettable. But it is also harmless. This isn’t a film I’m going to remember for being extremely poor, insensitive, or offensive. It is below average junk food in movie form, and that’s fine – it’s just not for me.

5 out of 10

– Jeffrey Rex

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