Thursday, December 8, 2016

True Memoirs of an International Assassin (2016)

Number Rolled: 86
Movie Name/Year: True Memoirs of an International Assassin (2016)
Tagline: The man. The myth. The memoirs.
Genre: Action, Comedy
Length: 98 minutes
Rating: TV-14
Production Companies: Global Film Group, Netflix (Distributor)
Producer: Justin Begnaud, Candy Carlsen-Buffa, Raja Collins, Mark Fasano, Kevin Scott Frakes, Todd Garner, Michael Garrity, Jack L. Murray, Guy Riedel, Ankur Rungta
Director: Jeff Wadlow
Writer: Jeff Wadlow, Jeff Morris
Actors: Kevin James, Kim Coates, Maurice Compte, Zulay Henao, Andrew Howard, Ron Rifkin, Yul Vazquez, P.J. Byrne, Kelen Coleman, Leonard Earl Howze, Rob Riggle, Andy Garcia, Jeff Chase, Katie Couric, G-Rod, Al Hamacher, Lauren Shaw, Emilie Ullerup, Daniel Zacapa

Blurb from Netflix: After his publisher markets his crime novel as a memoir, a novice author finds himself forcibly recruited into a deadly political plot in Venezuela.

Selina’s Point of View:
That movie was GOOD. No, it was INCREDIBLE.

Normally, when I watch a film for Trust the Dice, I’ve always got little statements and points to make in the back of my mind for when it’s over. Granted, this time was no different in that way. However, I can’t remember any of it now. I got so sucked into the storyline, and the acting was outstanding…

In fact, there was nothing that even remotely pulled me out of the story. Not even for a second.

I gotta be honest. I knew Kevin James (Little Boy, Zookeeper, The King of Queens) had decent comedic timing, but I had no fucking CLUE he had something like this in him. When I saw the trailer, I was expecting some kind of slapsticky, action/parody thing. I still wanted to see it (it made my top 20 for the month), but I wasn’t expecting a project as huge as what I just saw.

True Memoirs of an International Assassin is a hardcore action film. It’s also a hardcore comedy. I don’t think I’ve ever seen those two genres as perfectly balanced in any other movie.

After watching, I loaded up Rotten Tomatoes. I don’t understand how the film I just watched got a 0%. I just don’t.

In the reviews, I see a lot of complaints saying the film was “lazy,” “irrelevant,” “typical James,” and “cliché.” I’m gonna guess those critics know a LOT about cliché.

What does any of that mean, anyway? Calling a movie lazy, IS lazy. Give a real reason for disliking it if you’re gonna call yourself a critic. And what the fuck does “irrelevant” mean in this context? What’s this film supposedly unconnected to? Cause if it’s the Super Bowl, I agree. And “typical James,” this most certainly was not.

I don’t normally subscribe to conspiracy theories. I’ve heard a LOT of them pitting big Hollywood against streaming sources like Netflix and Amazon. Obviously, big Hollywood is scared of Netflix because their success could mean a change in the way movies are made and watched. If that change reaches a high point, it could lose a significant amount of money for mainstream Hollywood in general.

I never really gave much thought to the conspiracy theories surrounding that fact… but I may have to. I cannot think of any other logical reason for this film to have scored a 0%. A few people disliking it, I would understand. I expected to see something in the 70s. A 0%.... simply doesn’t make sense.

I’m sorry this review turned into another rant about why I hate critics, because True Memoirs of an International Assassin deserves better. I would have liked to go more into how amusing it was to watch this as a writer. We all wonder what would happen to us if we got to interact with the characters we create, or become them.

I would recommend this film to anyone. In fact, my best friend hates spy movies and I’m gonna go ahead and recommend it to him as well.

That being said, Trust the Dice is undergoing some changes. Tomorrow we’ll be posting a notice explaining everything.

Cat’s Point of View:
Straight out of the gate, I must say that I loved this movie.

Loved it.

The performances were solid and the movie flowed smoothly. I honestly lost track of the passage of time for a bit as I enjoyed myself.

Kevin James (Grown Ups, Here Comes the Boom, Pixels) makes an unlikely action hero, but it worked! He’s very relatable as an ‘everyman;’ and his charisma and comedic timing always draws me in. His performance was a bit reminiscent of watching Mr. Incredible, with his insurance day-job and heroic alter ego.

I also loved this peek into the mind of a writer. From the visuals of his personal space to the level of research put into the various aspects of the fictional character’s experience. There’s a meme circulating around the internet somewhere about a writer’s browser history being a cause for placement on watch lists, and such. This movie reminded me of it again. I also got a big kick out of how the movie treats the characters of the fictional story – especially when they’re not being focused on.

This recent batch of releases had me doing a happy dance for seeing Kim Coates (Resident Evil: Afterlife, Goon, Strange Weather) hitting the screen in multiple projects. I think Coates was perfect for his role. I only wish there was more!

There are two actors that really grabbed my attention here, also. I have seen some of their other projects but they really hadn’t stuck in my mind very well. I’ll be looking out for them now. Who are they? Maurice Compte (Echo Park, Search Party, Narcos) playing Juan and Zulay Henao (Grizzly Park, Fighting, Takers) playing Rosa Bolivar. I enjoyed that Compte brought depth to his character so you could see that he was more than just a flunky.

I think Henao took the cake as a genuine badass. I wondered if she had performed her own stunts in this movie – and I’m pretty sure she did. This Columbian-born actress spent a few years in the US Army and even had a Central America deployment, according to a few interviews I found.

Her action work was spot-on and proved that she’s not just another bombshell used to add sexy backdrop to an action movie. She was great in the non-action moments, as well, though. I really enjoyed her dynamic with James.

I actually wouldn’t mind watching a sequel to this one, I liked it so much. This is definitely at or near the top of my recommendations currently.

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – 0%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 47%

Netflix’s Prediction for Selina – 4.5/5
Selina’s Trust-the-Dice Score5/5

Netflix’s Prediction for Cat – 4.5/5
Cat’s Trust-the-Dice Score5/5

P.S. The music accompanying the second part of the credits is very amusing when taking the plot into context.

Movie Trailer: 

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