STORY WRITTEN BY ROB LOWMAN
Southern California News Group
The Netflix movie “True Memoirs of an International Assassin,” starring Kevin James, would have probably been in and out of theaters fairly quickly, but it might do as something light to stream on Friday night if you are not too demanding.
The premise revolves a wanna-be writer and full-time accountant Sam Larson (James), who is mostly tied to his cubicle. The rest of the time he sits at home, dreaming up spy novels, but only has a drawer filled with rejections slips for his efforts.
His research consists mostly of hanging out at a pool hall with a former Mossad agent (Ron Rifkin), who claims he was only an analyst.
One day he tells him about a legendary operative known as the Ghost. Sam puts it in a book called “Memoirs of an International Assassin” and quickly draws interest from an online publisher (Kelen Coleman). She tells him she won’t change a word, but adds one at the beginning — “True.”
The book unexpectedly sells, and Sam is interviewed by Katie Couric, who believes he is the real Ghost. The events in the book are so real that others believe it, too. Sam is then kidnapped, and the next thing he knows is caught up in a power struggle in Latin America.
Suddenly, he has to figure out how to turn his imagination into something than can save his life. Turns out some his other research comes in handy.
“True Memoirs” has something of a “Romancing the Stone” element — with the fanciful Sam being helped by a tough rogue DEA operative (Zulay Henao) in a gender reversal — but none of the charm.
James is fine as the Everyman who must rise to the occasion. Otherwise, the film from director and co-writer Jeff Wadlow (“Kick-Ass 2”) has an all-too-familiar ring to it, jumping between being silly and occasionally taking itself too seriously, which drags it down.
Contact Rob Lowman at firstname.lastname@example.org or @RobLowman1 on Twitter.