Possible spoilers ahead!
To say I had low expectations before seeing “True Memoirs of an International Assassin” would be an understatement. I only really saw this movie because the wifey had her mind set on seeing it for some unknown reason.
“True Memoirs of an International Assassin” opens with trained killer Sam Larson (Kevin James!) infiltrating a dockside shipping yard in broad daylight. He then does what he does best on a group of helpless henchmen. And you know what? Kevin James pulled it off.
Don’t get me wrong, the King of Queens is no James Bond, but he clearly put some work into becoming a somewhat believable ass-kicking assassin. The action scenes were surprisingly good and realistic, and then James gets shot in the chest with a rocket launcher and you remember you’re watching an action/comedy.
It turns out, that Kevin James isn’t actually playing an international assassin — he’s playing a guy who’s writing one. Sam is a middle-aged dude who works a boring corporate job, and fantasizes about the woman who lives down the hall in his apartment building. But Sam has a secret double life: He moonlights as a wannabe novelist, writing himself into the action.
In one of the movie’s best gags, we watch as Sam’s alter-ego super agent performs whatever thrilling acts of heroism the author types into his laptop. When he can’t think of something, the actors stand around looking confused. Yeah, it sounds stupid, but it worked rather well.
Sam’s book is heavily based on the life of retired Mossad agent (Ron Rifkin) who haunts the local pool hall and regales friends with stories about a legendary assassin called “The Ghost.” Everything is fine until Sam is signed by a millennial literary agent in a coffee shop who e-publishes his book under the title “True Memoirs of an International Assassin.”
Suddenly, he’s being interviewed live by Katie Couric, and finds himself at imminent risk of being exposed as a fraud. Soon enough, Sam is mistaken for the legendary killer he wrote about in his book, and is kidnapped by a warlord known as El Toro (Andy Garcia) who forces Sam to assassinate the President of Venezuela. But wait, there’s more: Before you can blink, our hero is coerced by a violent Zima loving Russian drug lord named Massovich (Andrew Howard), who wants Sam to kil El Toro. But wait, there’s more: While trying to warn the President, Sam is ordered by Venezuela’s top General to kill Massovich.
Then there’s the movie’s obligatory female ass-kicker (Zulay Henao), a no-nonsense DEA agent who’s been stuck in Venezuela for years. I really liked Henao, and enjoyed the fact that she’s not in the movie as a romantic lead. This was nice, because as everyone knows, Kevin James and his buddy Adam Sandler love to give themselves extremely hot female leads.
Okay, so “True Memoirs of an International Assassin” isn’t award-winning material. But it does have some funny parts, and some decent action. And, Memoirs is far better than anything Adam Sandler has done this century. For that alone this movie gets an extra half point.
“True Memoirs of an International Assassin”” is the perfect movie for a rainy night, or one of those times you simply need a cheap laugh. So keep it in mind next time you can’t find something to watch on Netflix.
“True Memoirs of an International Assassin” Final Score: 6.5