(SPOILER WARNING!!! This article does contain spoilers, if you haven’t seen the movie, just see the first paragraph to be informed without spoilers!!!)
Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit is definitely a good patriotic movie to watch. It is a good retelling of the story of Jack Ryan, created by Tom Clancy, and it had a feel like I’m watching an episode of 24. Even though there are some loopholes and cliches in the story, for the most part I enjoyed watching it, and hope this is a start of something new. Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars.
I have to admit that I didn’t really watch the past Jack Ryan movies with Alec Baldwin or Harrison Ford (The Hunt for Red October, Patriot Games, and Clear and Present Danger), but I did see the Ben Affleck version of Jack Ryan in The Sum of All Fears when i was a kid and being bored out of my mind, but I have to admit I was a teen that should’ve been watching Spiderman anyways until I’m matured to watch these type of political thrillers. Now that I know who Jack Ryan is and what he’s all about according to what the great Tom Clancy has written, I have nothing but respect for this guy, because he’s like a human hero for our country in the same basis as Jack Bauer in 24. I will start with what I like to what I didn’t like in this review.
What I like is that the writers of the movie Adam Cozad and David Koepp decided to reboot the character which I believe is an appropriate time to do so in a way that still has the characterization of what Tom Clancy created but with the modern times that is a story of it’s own. That got me interested for me to get on the Jack Ryan bandwagon, and it did not disappoint. I thought the story was a great political thriller, and as i said before it had a feel like an episode of 24. 24 is a favorite TV show of mine that starred Kiefer Sutherland as Jack Bauer. Jack Bauer did anything to save his country and his family and although he broke protocols to do so, he still ends up to save the day, even though he now has to become a fugitive. As for Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit it focused more on the positives of trying to stop a terrorist attack, and it was still thrilling nonetheless. Chris Pine as the new Jack Ryan was probably a breathe of fresh air for Jack Ryan fans. I thought he acted well and played the role the right way. When it was time for him to be a leader he excelled in it and taking the matter in his own hands. It showed his true patriotism right at the beginning of the movie when he saw the 9/11 terrorist attacks and immediately stopped his studies for his PHD and became a marine soldier Lieutenant in Afghanistan which almost killed him, but not only he survived but was recruited to work for the CIA and still get his PHD. Shows where you’re patriotism can get you. I also liked Kevin Costner as Thomas Harper who recruited Jack Ryan to work for him in the CIA, he stands out as an old school leader who is a Veteran and was the wise words for Jack Ryan to carry out his mission. Even when Jack Ryan took the lead in many procedures of the mission, he was still under control to keep Jack Ryan safe. No weird acting by Costner, he just acted his part, and did it right. I was impressed with Kenneth Branagh as the Russian villain Viktor Cherevin. I thought he played it with a lot of Russian pride and intelligence. The villain always thought he had the upper hand, but as usual with foreign terrorist, they underestimate the will of Americans to save a country. Branagh is always a great actor, and he was a believable Russian villain. The twists or sudden assassination attempts in the movie will definitely leave you on the edge of your seat, and I like how they creatively incorporated Wall Street with a terrorist attack and why our country depends on our stock market. I was surprised that this movie was directed by Branagh. I thought he did good in directing Thor which in a certain still sustains to Shakespearean dialogue and acting, and never thought he would direct this kind of movie. So when I found out, I was pleasantly amused. Maybe this will be a turning point in Branagh’s directing.
Things that I thought was so-so in the movie, and the first that came to my mind was the action. It did had the Jason Bourne series type of action with the shaky cameras and what not. It was appropriate for a lot of the scenes, but it got to a point where it was almost to Cloverfield status where it can get dizzying or to for some people nauseating. I kind of felt dizzy in the movie which is very rare for me (or signs that I’m getting old).
What I didn’t like is Keira Knightley as Jack Ryan’s girlfriend Cathy Muller. Her acting was fine, but I didn’t feel that chemistry between her and Chris Pine looked to forced and boring.. It was cliched that they meet in a hospital where Jack Ryan was rehabbing and ended up falling in love, and since he is a CIA agent he can’t tell her so she suspects of him of having an affair ordeal. Heard that many times before, but with her coming to Moscow did pertain to the story, and it could’ve been more creative I guess. The other thing I didn’t like, which for a lack of a better word, a loophole I saw was in the final minute of the bomb going off is that Jack Ryan was driving to get the bomb away from the city, and then all of a sudden the Cheriven’s terrorist son was in the back of the van and Ryan didn’t notice that, and just let him fix the bomb or whatever he was doing with the wires. Then he decided to jump out of the car that was headed towards the Hudson River, and the cliche of leaving the villain behind to his death with an explosion that didn’t look that would kill 100,000 people. I don’t know that final scene got me confused.
Overall, it was a good and enjoyable movie to watch. For all you American Patriots who want to see America on top of terrorism, this is a movie for you all. It always makes me feel satisfied that America is working hard to stop serious threats like 9/11 from happening (unless you are a Conspiracy Theorist), and feeling proud to be an American!!!
Rating 4 out of 5 Stars