American Assassin by Vince Flynn Book vs. Movie Comparison

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American Assassin by Vince Flynn was published on October 12th, 2010 by Atria Simon and Schuster. Synopsis: Mitch Rapp is a gifted college athlete who just wants retribution for the Pan Am Lockerbie attack. He trains six months intensely with other clandestine operatives, under CIA Operations Director Thomas Stansfield and protégé Irene Kennedy, to stop terrorists before they reach America. The assassin leaves a trail of bodies from Istanbul across Europe to Beirut, where he needs every ounce of skill and cunning to survive the war-ravaged city and its deadly terrorist factions.


American AssassinI am a huge fan of the Mitch Rapp book series by Vince Flynn. These amazing spy thriller novels are true to keep you up all night page turners! Since I am an avid book reader I find it hard to watch a movie that is based on a book and not picks it apart. You can ask anyone who knows me and they will tell you this is true. Here is what I noticed most after watching American Assassin.

While a lot of the characters like Mitch (Dylan O’Brien), Stan (Michael Keaton), and Irene (Sanaa Lathan) are in both the book and the movie. A new character named Ghost (Taylor Kitsch) appears in the movie but was not in the book. A lot of what was in the book is not in the movie! There is no bomb at the beginning of the movie. Instead, Mitch and his girlfriend are on a beach and become the victims of a terrorist attack where his girlfriend dies. The book has it different and starts the story with his girlfriend being the victim of a terrorist attack on a plane involving a bomb. The movie has Ghost (Taylor Kitsch) being the main threat as a lone terrorist who is planning on using a nuclear bomb.

While reading the Vince Flynn novels, you will see that Mitch grows into more of an adult as the books go along. When you see Mitch on the beach you can tell that he is a young man whose life is about to change. Once the attack happens and he loses his girlfriend you see that change. A man who wants revenge and will do anything to make sure the people responsible will pay. The movie shows Mitch becoming stronger and more determined to see his plan through. Once he gets “recruited” by the CIA you see him becoming more experienced and trained. He still thinks with his heart and does not always follow orders at times making Stan’s job to control the mission a headache.

I like the drama and tension that appears between Stan and Mitch. This creates a depth to the story that helps show just how much revenge and hatred Mitch has in his heart to try to right the wrong that was done to him and his girlfriend.

The book tells a lot of Mitch being an athlete and explains how in shape he is. I think leaving this out took away part of the strength that he has. Along with him being in college and very intelligent would help explain how he managed to track down the leader of the terrorist cell so easily. I understand that it is hard to keep a lot of the book details because you have a limited amount of time for a movie but some things still need to be kept in the movie to help the audience have a better understanding.

I did like the movie and felt it was a good action packed suspense-filled thriller even if there are a lot of differences. The main characters and plot are similar (terrorists) enough that any fan of the books will love the movie. I hope for more movies to come in the future! **This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.**





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