Old-school espionage thrillers made it a lot easier to root for the good guys. For instance, during the Cold War it was a simple task to just pit a spy, such as James Bond, against some Soviet agents and watch as he protected Western civilization from Communists. Even earlier pictures could choose from Nazis and other bad guys to give protagonists the moral high ground.
Today, the foreign world is a lot murkier, which makes it harder to keep heroes from descending into an opaque fog of who is right and who is wrong. Just check out Syriana or the Bourne movies for proof of this.
However, if you can get the right script, and particularly the right actors, it's easier to create the perfect action storyline. That's apparently the case with the recently announced American Assassin, according to IndieWire.
Unfortunately, it does come at a cost. Chris Hemsworth, of Thor and The Avengers, has reportedly signed on to portray the role of an unorthodox terrorist hunter for the CIA. His price tag will be a stunning $10 million, but the handsome and no-nonsense star will surely make it easy to root for a guy striving to do right in a murky world of bad guys and corporations. With established good guy Bruce Willis as his mentor, he'll surely be justified doing whatever it takes.