Alright so I’ve watched this movie last Saturday and I think that I found a candidate to discuss. The movie in question is called American Assassin.
What’s The Work?
American Assassin is a 2017 action thriller film whose premise starts with Mitch Rapp’s fiancé getting killed by a terrorist attack. This leads to Mitch Rapp vowing vengeance on all terrorists, starting with the ones who killed his fiancé. The CIA were impressed by Rapp’s skills and recruits him to a black-ops unit called Orion where their first mission is to stop this guy, The Ghost.
Who Is He? What Has He Done?
The Ghost is an American mercenary who made his first appearance in Poland buying Plutonium from a group of arms dealers. After being given the plutonium, Ghost kills the arms dealers and the police officers who noticed him before making his escape.
When Ghost meets up with his contacts at a restaurant in Turkey to sell the plutonium, he notices Orion on his pursuit. To make his escape once again, Ghost would kill random civilians in the restaurant as well as Orion agent Victor.
Ghost would then meet up with his nuclear physicist in Rome and capture Orion agents Mitch and Annika when he learns that they are spying on him. However they are saved by Stan Hurley and the trio captures the nuclear physicist while Ghosts escapes once more.
Ghost laters kills Stan’s contact and Annika’s uncle and kidnaps Stan where he proceeds to torture him for abandoning him on a mission, first by peeling off Stan’s fingernails, then by electrocuting him, and they slicing off bits of skin from Stan’s body.
However, Stan was able to deduce that Ghost had no intention of giving the nuclear weapons to his Iranian contacts and was merely using them to have them build the weapon for him to use for his own purpose. Ghost responds to this by killing off all his Iranian contacts proving Stan to be right.
Ghost’s true plan was to use the nuclear weapon to destroy the U.S. Navy’s Sixth Fleet out at the ocean hoping to kill all of the thousands (if not more) of American’s in the fleet simply to spite Stan.
However, Mitch Rapp follows Ghost to a boat where the two proceed to fight. During the fight Ghost would constantly and sadistically mock Mitch about his failure to have saved his girlfriend. Luckily Mitch was able to come out on top, kill Ghost and foil his plans to use the nuclear weapon to destroy the navy fleet and kill everyone in it.
Freudian Excuse? Redeeming Qualities?
Now Ghost says to Stan Hurley that after Stan abandoned him terrorists captured him and tortured him, which Ghost shows the scars to Stan. However Stan, calls Ghost out on his excuse in that he had to abandon Ghost to save the rest of his men because Ghost refused to follow Stan’s orders which got them into that predicament in the first place and that Ghost was already a violent and psychopathic man long before the terrorists captured him.
All that torture did to Ghost to was direct his hatred to Stan for actions that Ghost had gotten himself into for not following Stan’s orders and all of the innocent people that Ghost had killed or intended to kill just to spite Stan, who by that had nothing to do with his predicament, and sadistically mocking Mitch about the death of his fiancee destroys any sympathy for Ghost. Plus, we had past candidates who were tortured in the past (Koba, Killgrave, Griffith, etc.) yet still managed to count because their past don’t justify their current actions and I believe that to do be the case with Ghost as well.
Now the terrorists in the first scene of the film caused an attack that killed Mitch’s fiancee and the Iranians were planning to use Ghost’s nuclear bomb on Israel. However they don't really have much focus and aren’t given much characterization so I wouldn’t consider them.
That said not only does Ghost have more than enough characterization to be considered, but as the main villain he has a lot of screen time for him to commit his atrocities. In the film he has killed all of his allies off once they are no longer of use to him, causes a massacre murdered countless of innocent people in a restaurant, subjects Stan Hurley to a long and horrendous torture session, and intended to use a nuclear weapon to kill thousands of innocent people, if not more, all just to spite Stan. I’d say Ghost does more than enough to pass the heinous standard.
I will leave that decision for you guys to make.