What would you do for fame? Kill someone? Sell your soul to the devil? Run for President without the necessary qualifications? For Kevin James, neither of those options seem like the viable choice…but maybe lying about a history in espionage and being a murderer-for-hire is in his list of what’s acceptable or not. Recently, Netflix released True Memoirs of an International Assassin, which is the next addition to (apparently) Happy Madison’s growing Netflix films. The last two weren’t all that great, but can this film do it? Let’s get into it.
After a publisher changes a writer’s debut novel about a deadly assassin from fiction to nonfiction, the author finds himself thrust into the world of his lead character, and must take on the role of his character for his own survival. (IMDb)
For some odd reason, I happen to like Kevin James. He’s not the best or even funniest actor in the world. In fact, most of his films are more mediocre than “good”, but I like the man nonetheless, so I keep watching his stuff. My favorite film of his would probably be Hitch. He’s a likable, silly dude. Does the same apply here? Yeah, absolutely, in fact, True Memoirs of an International Assassin might even surprise you in some respects. However, I wouldn’t really call this film all that great, either. It lies somewhere in between the realm of “decent” and “just okay” and I have a difficult time explaining why that is.
I found this film to be slightly convoluted in its premise, but that’s partially the point. In a weird way, this film is basically just your typical old fashioned Mexican standoff, except instead of the three bad guys pointing their guns at each other, they hired a third party to do that for them. Cool in theory, but harder to follow in reality. The foundation of the story reminds me slightly of The Three Amigos or maybe Tropic Thunder – where an unqualified representation of a hero is mistaken for an actual hero and forced to put on a performance to stay alive. I do like those types of films, and I like this as well, I just have to say the two movies I mentioned above are clear victors in their own Mexican standoff.
I have to mention that I did like the moments where Sam (Kevin James) fell prey to his own imagination. I love films that embrace the representation of imagination – not unlike The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, for example. If there was anything in this movie that had me really invested was the way they did that. Right down to when he’s in the middle of writing his book, has writer’s block – which annoys the characters in their own universe, because they can’t do anything until he keeps writing. I love that.
Is True Memoirs of an International Assassin Netflix’s next big hit? No, of course not. Is it hilarious? Not really, it might make you chuckle a couple of times, but it’s not hilarious. What it IS, is a good film to unwind watching. It won’t annoy you or anger you in any way, it’s just a fun, nonsensical flick. Check it out!