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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 3.5 stars... "You're not just an analyst anymore, you're operational!"
"Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit" (2014 release; 105 min.) brings a reinvented Jack Ryan to the screen, this time as played by Chris Pine, he of the "Star Trek" reboot franchise (as Capt. Kirk). As the movie opens, we see Ryan on the campus of the London School of Economics when 9/11 happens. Ryan volunteers for the Marine Corps and is deployed in Afghanistan,...
Published 6 months ago by Paul Allaer

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Review of Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit
Chris Pine takes the mantle of Jack Ryan, as the franchise tries to restart itself after Sum of All Fears and indeed 9-11, seemed to leave it with nowhere to go. Chris Pine is a refreshing young convincing face of the ex Marine turned analyst for his mentor Kevin Costner, who is forced into an operational role when he uncovers shady dealings from a Russian oligarch which...
Published 12 days ago by Mr. Stephen Kennedy


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1.0 out of 5 stars When Eyebrows Collide., 17 Aug 2014
Not keen on this I'm afraid! A 'Bourne'-type rip-off with a 'model' hero (big eyebrows must be 'in') with no character except he's an all-American boy (cynical use of 9/11). Keira K. does her usual whimpering stuff and KB is just about watchable as Wallender's alter-ego. Tries to pretend it's 'real' (no Bond-like humour with this US 'Bond') and plenty of product-placement (Sony, BMW, Chateau Haut-Brion). Has a nasty scene instructing sadistic gangster-loving loonies how to use a light-bulb to inflict major physical damage and does nothing for Western/Russian relations. A truly tasteless and exploitative load of rubbish. I hope Kenneth Branagh is ashamed of the cash he's trousered and now considers (as I hope I would if I had his talent) putting some of that dosh to doing King Lear, Timon of Athens or Coronation Street. Morally reprehensible. Give Kevin Costner a tiny bit of credit perhaps.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I'M IN THE CIA, 26 Jan 2014
By 
The Movie Guy "Movies from A to Z" (United States) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
Lt. Jack Ryan has a helicopter crash and rather than create a 6 million dollar man, Jack goes into physical therapy. With the aid of Cathy (Keira Knightley) he goes from falling down with crutches to just about being able to fly. He is recruited by the CIA (Kevin Costner) to work in the finance industry. In that role he discovers that the Russians have some secret accounts and plan on collapsing the US dollar. Jack goes to Moscow, but it wasn't as much fun as when Bruce Willis went and destroyed every vehicle in the city, or the drama and suspense when Matt Damon visited. While there were some chase scenes and car crashes, much of the action takes place monitoring a computer. And seriously, do they actually pass envelopes in a movie theater? I would think the thumb drive pass that they did later in the film was the way to go.

Sorry Tom Clancy, but your characters were bland. Where was their sense of humor? The whole movie was about getting control over computer accounts to save the Treasury Bonds or something. For some reason my adrenaline rush level was low.

Parental Guide: 2 F-bombs. No sex or nudity.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Watchable but a bit meh., 3 Aug 2014
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A. Chell "Avid reader" (Staffordshire, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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Another day, another reboot. Tom Clancy's hero is now played by Chris (Captain Kirk) Pine, just in time to save the world - well, the US mainly - from a rogue Russian currency trader. The film is a bit more exciting than that sounds, but not a lot.

Keira Knightly also stars as Dr Cathy Muller, the soon to be Mrs Ryan, whose role in this movie seems to mainly involve being annoying and having to be rescued. Kevin Costner plays Jack's CIA handler while Kenneth Branagh chews scenery and effects a dodgy Russian accent as the main villain.

I expect a series of movies to follow this, but let's hope that the standard improves.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars If you`re going to make an utterly formulaic film, at least to find an interesting formula., 3 Jun 2014
This review is from: Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit (DVD)
What a daft and dull film! It is sentimental, predictable, jingoistic, and if it had been in 3D would still have been one-dimensional. The actors try reasonably hard to bring some sort of life to the dim script, but the plot is so unspeakably trite, and the direction so reminiscent of a particularly unimaginative 80`s made-for-TV offering, that nothing can redeem it. One of the worst films of 2013.
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4.0 out of 5 stars all of which fits nicely with how Ford's Ryan has always been portrayed, 19 Aug 2014
This review is from: Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit (DVD)
A neat, lively, credible reboot of the Jack Ryan character... a little insight into his youth and early Life choices takes us smoothly forward to how he ends up recruited by the CIA for his dogged-determination and highly analytical Mind... all of which fits nicely with how Ford's Ryan has always been portrayed. Sub-plots within the main Story are also aligned with very modern, fact-based Themes, just as the original Films were.

An excellent start to what could become a Bourne-like Franchise, whilst staying sufficiently true to the original Character/Films.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Ryan, Mr. President, Jack Ryan...., 28 May 2014
This review is from: Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
The film starts with the titular character witnessing the atrocities of 9/11, thus paving the way for his patriotism.

Move forward a couple of years, and he is involved in a horrific helicopter attack, thus paving the way for him to meet Cathy, and Kevin Costner, who tells him what he will be doing.

Move forward to present day. Ryan is working undercover in a bank, trying to find dodgy bank accounts. Finding one, he is sent to Russia, thus paving the way for Kenneth Branagh.

he wants to start another economic meltdown, and submit a terrorist attack on American soil. Why does he want to do this? Because he's a dastardly scoundrel, and you know this is true because he beats up a nurse for no reason.

A reboot of sorts, JRSR, takes us back to the thrillers of the eighties we all knew and loved, the ones where people would meet at the movies to give each other secret packages, and someone drops a bag in front of someone else, and people steal dogs to make them look normal, and this is where the film works well.

Branagh can create a wonderful air of tension, and make technical jargon seem really interesting, making the viewer think that they are quite intelligent, it's the comfort food of cinema.

But the big problem here is Pine. He just doesn't convince as Ryan, and at times he comes across as too immature to really make the viewer believe that his character will become the Jack Ryan we had in the nineties.

I know he's a new recruit and all that, but he isn't focused on as much as you would expect, and it doesn't help when your acted off screen by Costner and Branagh.

These two are the reason why the film holds so well, an old school villain, and an old school hero, take Ryan out of the equation, and this could have been an excellent cold war thriller ala No Way Out.

But it's still a lot of fun. The set pieces in the restaurant and the film there on in is awesome, but it takes too much build up to get there, and as I've said before, Pine is a little bit of a wet blanket.

Here's hoping for a spin off movie with Costner's character, but it's very doubtful.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Likely to be a Recruits 2, 11 Aug 2014
By 
Davron (Exeter, Devon United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
Thought Chris Pine was brill in the Star Trek movies so decided to give this a go. Certainly it comes with an impressive pedigree to follow written by Tom Clancy and some of the biggest on screen names. A feeling I had throughout the film was one of plot holes in other words some scenarios were completely unbelievable. However, I found myself drawn into the story and rooting for the Pine team. Overall I recommend it, just don't take it too seriously.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Late Reboot That Ryan Deserved, 28 April 2014
Tom Clancy's literally hero Jack Ryan has always been compromised when it came to his big screen adventures. Clancy purists claim that Alec Baldwin was the best incarnation of the hero, and that The Hunt for Red October was the best film in the Ryan franchise. Hardly surprising since, despite being a tense and brilliant political thriller, the film was released during the last days of the Cold War, and the atmosphere and themes of the film perfectly reflected the shift in the political equilibrium of the time. Despite its dated settings, Red October has aged well, however from there it becomes hit and miss for Clancy's brilliant, but tediously Republican hero

Harrison Ford's tenure saw Ryan as a middle aged analyst defending his family, whilst battling the corrupted ideals of an idiotic American cabinet in both the respective miss and hit films that were Patriot Games and Clear and Present Danger. Despite the latter being a hit, Jack Ryan did not make another screen appearance for nine years. Ford retired from the role, and with the release of The Sum of All Fear, Ryan was rebooted, this time played by Ben Affleck. The film may have had a decent enough premise, but Affleck's bland performance simply didn't click with some. Although I do believe his on screen squeeze (who later go on on to be Ryan's wife) played horribly by Bridget Moynahan deserved blame also. However having said this, it was with the then recent events of 9/11 that may have proved to be a nervous clincher. The film may have been a box office hit, but it certainly attracted some controversy.

Flash forward to 2014, and Ryan has come back to the movie screens. Since we all last saw him in 2003, a lot of things have happened in action/spy cinema. An amnesiac assassin called Jason Bourne came along and breathed new life to a tired and cliched genre (although in a few short years, Bourne's style would become such a defining influence, that pretty much everyone tried to emulate his films) Whilst the king of spy cinema, who also shares Bourne's initials, did the unthinkable and was rebooted after a series of films that were trudging along after 44 years. Not to mention the results of this reboot were phenomenally successful.

Where did that leave the least likely action hero? Well with yet another reboot.... Not only was Ryan getting another makeover, but the filmmakers decided to abandon its very creator by creating their own origin story.

Shadow Recruit had been in pre production for years, with Chris Pine attached to the role for most of its tenure. Many directors, including a post Spider-Man Sam Raimi, had signed and resigned from the troubled project. Then all of a sudden Shakespeare luvvie Kenneth Branagh was offered the project, and he signed on as both director and acting as Pine's onscreen antagonist.

Being a fan of both Branagh and the spy genre, I was very much looking forward to seeing this. Instead I was a tad disenchanted by the generic steps this film took. In this day and age you want something more exciting. However, going down this route, Branagh and co seemed to have captured the very essence of both Ryan and his world. The man is not an action hero, he is a financial analyst, who just happens to be a covert operative... at a financial firm on Wall Street. His whole identity is generic and regular.

Another factor that I found surprising is how the filmmakers decided to dust off and plug into the old Cold War foes, not to mention locales and set pieces that hark back to the great Cold War thrillers of yesteryear, albeit with more modern edges. On face value xenophobia and American nativity seems to be at play here, I mean spy genre filmmakers have to be pretty desperate to use the Russian's as antagonists yet again.

Nostalgia seems to be the name of the game with Shadow Recruit, the locations, the mission, the characters, and the set pieces almost seem it comes from a catalogue of the greatest spy genre themes. And its because of this that I enjoyed the film for what it was, a throwback to a golden age of spy cinema.

Pine is only slightly better than Affleck, yet this time you forgive Pine's wide eyed honesty and naivety since isn't the experience Jack Ryan we all know. Knightley is very entertaining as Cathy, and gives the best portrayal of the character yet with her jealousy and romantic tidings providing a comic highlight, whilst her vulnerability gives her heart.

Now we come to the grand old men. I always found Costner to be a likeable, but bland actor. Pretty much every performance of his career, he either plays the loveable trickster, or the sworn voice of reason. In Shadow Recruit he's very much the latter as he is both mentor and protector to Ryan, and to be frank no other actor I know of can pull of this role. As for Branagh, unsurprisingly he gives the best performance of the film, and is having fun flexing his villainous traits, complete with black suit, dyed hair, and a cod Russian accent that would turn vodka cold.

Overall its a pretty decent and entertaining film. It certainly didn't deserve the critical mauling, and the audience desertion it received, but because the spy genre has gone through so many transitions, one cannot help but feel that this film has arrived a decade too late. If this film was made back in 2003 instead of The Sum of All Fears, then there would have been far more gravitas. But sadly Shadow Recruit has come along far too late in the game and because a financial report is these days more important then a decent script, it is more than likely that the Ryan character will once again be left in the cold steel cabinet in the offices of Paramount.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars aaaargh, nothing new, nothing original, nothing suspenseful, nothing worth watching, 18 July 2014
By 
TR (littol engerland) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit (DVD)
to put as much effort into the review as the producers have done to make a piece of entertainment - DIRE
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Beyond stupid, 19 July 2014
By 
Scott Russell (Scotland) - See all my reviews
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Ludicrous, ill conceived, simplistic, cliched. Wants to be a Bourne film but falls miserably short.
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Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit [Blu-ray]
Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit [Blu-ray] by Chris Pine (Blu-ray - 2014)
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