Just by the title of this movie, True Memoirs of an International Assassin, you can figure out what’s it going to be like. Light entertainment with a couple of good jokes and an exotic setting. If you’re looking for anything else but mindless fun you might want to skip it and check out the rest of the spy comedies. Yes, in case you didn’t know there’s a whole subgenre based around this premise. Also, I know we’re talking about an assassin here, but they’re practically the same thing. And there are some pretty good and creative movies here like The Man Who Knew Too Little or Top Secret!. And if you’re craving for some modern ones check out Kingsman, Spy, Get Smart, and Johnny English. For this type of setup to work, you have to have the perfect lead actor.
And Kevin James was great as Sam Larson / Mason Carver. He’s very skilled in hand-to-hand combat and looks believable handling a weapon. Probably because of his Here Comes The Boom training where he played an MMA fighter. And this is coming from a guy who really doesn’t like his Average Joe antics. Maurice Compte, whom all you Narcos fans might remember as Colonel Carillo, was also great here. The rest of the cast is familiar and consists of tried-and-tested actors like Andy Garcia and Kim Coates. They’re here to give more authenticity to the atmosphere and have done their jobs well. With high production values, True Memoirs of an International Assassin is real easy on the eye. It’s got that sleek and stylish cinematography that’ll become the staple of future Netflix productions.
We find Sam Larson, a bit chubby amateur writer, deep in thought, trying to come up with a great ending for his first book. It’s a spy novel full of murder and mayhem and it needs a perfect ending. Out of ideas, he goes to shoot some pool with his friend Amos, who tells him the perfect ending. However, he also tells him that he can’t use it in his book. Mostly because it would cause a lot of problems for both of them. You can guess what happened and how Sam found himself kidnapped and taken to Venezuela.
True Memoirs of an International Assassin is a by-the-book action/comedy movie with all the usual tropes. The action is sharp, the script mildly amusing and pacing just right. Especially if you decide to drink a couple of beers. It doesn’t take itself too seriously, which is the right attitude for this type of movie. The fight scenes are surprisingly well choreographed and very engaging. Finally, being set in Venezuela I can’t resist talking about the US and A imperialism and its history of South American interventionism. I mean, there’s a whole Wikipedia page dedicated to it titled United States involvement in regime change in Latin America. It includes the 2002 coup d’état attempt, which probably served as a basis for this movie. Even today, in 2021, they’re still trying to get someone more amicable to the USA’s interests in power.
The goal, of course, is easier extraction of oil and minerals. As it’s always the case, the reality of the situation is far more complex than this review allows for. So, I’ll leave it at that before I start ranting for real. Because I just googled a bit to recommend a few articles and the first results were horrific propaganda pieces. A general rule of thumb is if you see that one thing is blamed for something, in this case, socialism, that’s probably just propaganda with a hidden agenda.
Director: Jeff Wadlow
Writer: Jeff Morris, Jeff Wadlow
Cast: Kevin James, Zulay Henao, Maurice Compte, Andy Garcia, Kim Coates, Yul Vazquez, Rob Riggle, Ron Rifkin
Fun Facts: One of the photos on Rosa’s wall is of actor/comedian Ricky Gervais