If Netflix is serious about becoming a major player in the original-movies game, they’re going to have to do better than True Memoirs of an International Assassin. A sort of big-and-tall-shop riff on The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, the uninspired action-comedy stars affable King of Queens lug Kevin James as a put-upon office drone who dreams of becoming a best-selling author of globe-trotting adventure books — Tom Clancy in the body of Tom Bosley.
The opening scenes of James’ Sam Larson imagining himself as his novel’s he-man hero, offing bad guys and saving the girl, get the film off to a mildly promising start. But it’s all downhill from there. After Sam turns the confidential war stories of an old ex-Mossad pal (Ron Rifkin) into the material for his first novel, his opportunistic agent (Kelen Coleman) shops the book as nonfiction. Sam has an instant best-seller on his hands (cue Katie Couric cameo), but he also has readers (including some international heavies) believing that he’s an infamous hitman known as “The Ghost.” Sam’s kidnapped, brought to Venezuela, and haplessly roped into a trio of assassinations involving a jungle revolutionary (Andy Garcia) and a gorgeous-but-deadly American DEA agent (Zulay Henao).
Directed by Jeff Wadlow (Kick-Ass 2) and co-written by the guy who brought you the yule-season classic Grumpy Cat’s Worst Christmas Ever, True Memoirs is harmless, disposable junk food that has just enough laughs to make you feel like you didn’t get scammed. But it’s not the kind of must-see programming that’s going to make anyone cough up 10 bucks a month who hasn’t already. C