GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn. - film critic Tim Lammers reviews "American Assassin."

"American Assassin" (R) 3 1/2 stars (out of 4); Kid Quotient: None

Late St. Paul author Vince Flynn finally gets his due on the big screen with "American Assassin," a thrilling adaptation of the prequel novel that examines the origins of his counterterrorism agent Mitch Rapp.

Dylan O'Brien stars as Rapp, a 23-year-old college grad whose life is forever altered when a terrorist incident results in a deep, personal loss. Training himself to be a vigilante, Rapp's activities catch the attention of CIA Deputy Director Irene Kennedy (Sanaa Lathan). Recruiting Rapp into the agency's counterterrrorism division, Rapp must learn to set his personal feelings from his professional duties as he learns the ropes from grizzled black ops veteran Stan Hurley (Michael Keaton).

"American Assassin" is thrilling from start to finish, and while there are huge variations from the book, the film is a great introduction of Rapp to movie audiences. The movie is every bit as entertaining as a Tom Clancy adaptation, and the action easily rivals anything seen in a Jason Bourne movie. With any luck, the film will resonate with audiences enough to warrant more Rapp adaptations as he thwarts more plots and more threats in the dangerous world we live in.

Also, read Tim's interview with "American Assassin" star Dylan O'Brien.