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For president and country
on 5 January 2015
With the recent release (and box-office failure) of the fifth Jack Ryan movie: Shadow recruit - following the passable but largely forgotten Ben Affleck-starring Sum of all Fears, it's time to reappraise the first three adaptations Tom Clancy novels adapted for the big screen.
First up is submarine drama: The Hunt for Red October; most notable for starring Sean Connery as a curiously-accented Russian sub commander, and featuring Alec Baldwin for the first and only time as Jack Ryan. Less than riveting, there is some heart here, but for the large part (and despite excellent supporting turns from the likes of Sam Neill and Tim Curry), it is a moribund affair.
Patriot Games saw Harrison Ford take over as the lead, and a heady brew of Irish political intrigue, and London-based terrorist attacks, was a critical and commercial success, paving the way for Ford's return in Clear and Present Danger. The last of the three is a solid thriller, featuring a memorable turn from Willem Defoe as a compromised mercenary, and with the feel of a late-80s James Bond film.