Friday, January 17, 2014

Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit review

By Nico Beland
Movie Review: B+ (3 stars)
Chris Pine in Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit

            From director Kenneth Branagh (Thor) and starring Chris Pine (Star Trek, Unstoppable, Rise of the Guardians) comes the latest film adaption based on the late Tom Clancy’s (author of Patriot Games, Clear and Present Danger, The Sum of All Fears, and The Hunt for Red October) chilling novels, Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit. While it’s not the best film adaptation of Clancy’s books, it’s still very entertaining thanks to Branagh’s always epic direction.
            The movie follows CIA agent, Jack Ryan (Chris Pine) in his years as a Marine during 9/11 through a duty tour in Afghanistan. Suddenly the helicopter he was riding it is blasted down by a missile, nearly killing him, and is scarred by it forever.
            As time passes, Jack becomes an analyst in the Financial Intelligence Unit of the modern CIA, under the guardianship of his handler named Harper (Kevin Costner-Field of Dreams, Waterworld, Man of Steel). During his time as an analyst, he uncovers a Russian financial terrorist plot to collapse the United States economy.
            Jack must go from analyst to badass spy and fight for his life, and for the lives of countless others. In fact he must do this while protecting the most important person in his life, his fiancĂ©e, Cathy (Keira Knightley-Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, Anna Karenina).
            Overall Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit is a fun dumb action flick, lots of gunfire, car chases, fistfights, and explosions galore. It’s not as great as the previous Tom Clancy films, but it’s a decent reboot of the popular action franchise.
            Besides the dumb action, the film cleverly throws in some intelligent suspense,
Ryan and the CIA are gathering information on the Russian terrorists and going undercover to find out everything they plan to do, leading up to a thrilling climax involving a bomb. Trust me, your eyes will be glued to the screen during the climax, big action and powerful sound quality (Yeah, I saw it on IMAX).
            Hopefully this will lead to more Tom Clancy films in the future because every movie adaptation of his books were intelligently entertaining and charged with dumb over the top action. Pine makes a good Jack Ryan, not sure how he is compared to Harrison Ford or Alec Baldwin, but all three of them are enjoyable to watch, sorry Affleck, nothing personal.

            So, not the best Clancy film, not the worst, but it’s fun, loud, and should keep fans of the previous films or books entertained enough.

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