True Memoirs of an International Assassin online movie review - Compared to Kevin James's previous efforts, this one is surprisingly passable
Adam Sandler is certainly not known for having the most competent comedies under his belt, and his previous two entries into the realm of Netflix including last year's 'Ridiculous 6' and 'The Do-Over' earlier this year have virtually no justice for his career.
His frequent collaborator Kevin James has set quite a low bar over the years as well, with last year's 'Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2' marking his all-time low in Hollywood ladder. Similarly to Sandler, James gets a chance at step into the Netflix department with his action comedy starring James in yet another comical action hero; only this time he's not playing a cop. Instead, he given a chance to step in the role as amateur assassin fighting his way through a dangerous world of explosions, gunfire, and surprisingly a few good laughs to hit the funny bone. Directed by Jeff Wadlow the man behind the moderately successful 'Kick Ass 2', Kevin James plays Sam Larson, a writer of action novel that tells the story of an international assassin. His novel is proved to be successful when it is published by Kylie Applebaum (played by Kelen Colemon) and quickly becomes a best-seller. But Larson finds himself in hot water when the publishers switches the book from fiction to non-fiction deceiving Venezuelan terrorist El Toro (played by Andy Garcia) into believing he is an actual assassin, and is unexpectedly kidnapped by Toro and his henchman. Before he knows, Larson along with hot-shot DEA agent Rosa (played by Zulay Henao) find themselves in a violent assassination plot.
It is hard to imagine how Kevin James make quite a charm from a movie following a deeply absurd premise, especially when he steps in the shoes of an action hero. Upon watching this however, it is quite surprising to see the effort he brings in taking on a role much different than his usual buffoonish typecasting. While he may not provide enough laughs to make this a memorable (or even satisfying) for him, it certainly shows a step forward from his sorely incompetent efforts he's delivered in the past several years. The question is does he properly suite the role of an international assassin sporting a firearm, of course not. But if you are able to buy into his absurdly cartoonish role and Jeff Wadlow's awkward execution of the plot, you are granted with the perk of some surprisingly funny one-liners and somewhat convincing chemistry with co-star Zulay Henao with oddly steals the show as the gun-totting sexy chick more often than Kevin James. The funny parts arrive rather infrequently and do little to make up for how abundantly silly the plot pursues, even when the action sequences are a little fun. The rest of the co-stars including Rob Riggle, Michael Cleveland, and Maurice Compte sadly fall victim to charmless roles with nothing to deliver but a flow of hit-and-miss one-liners that provide more snoozes than laughs. Andy Garcia may offer a chuckle or two as the bone-headed terrorist, but its far from enough to make him a pinnacle of laughter.
True Memoirs of an International Assassin never quite rises above the level of a disposable action comedy, but compared to the previous efforts by Kevin James, it's surprisingly passable. One of the biggest compliments I could award with this film is that shows James in a funny action hero that is far better than what he showed us in the disastrous 'Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2'.