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Jack Ryan Starts Again,
This review is from: Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit (Blu-ray)
The latest film to feature the character of Jack Ryan from the Tom Clancy books is also an attempt to return to his original recruitment and first mission. This is a little odd as the Ben Affleck version of "A Sum of All Fears" already did that. But, like Spiderman it seems people like making movies about Jack Ryan's origins, and this time its updated to a post 9/11 setting. By doing that however you remove the whole tone of the original Tom Clancy novels, which were always set in the Cold War with the Russians as the bad guys. This time, having updated the setting the Russians are again the bad guys!
Enter Kenneth Brannagh spouting dialogue in his best Russian accent and acting the part of a one dimensional Bond villian. To hell with Glasnost, those fools have betrayed Russia, etc, etc. Considering Kenneth Brannagh also directed this movie its surprising he didn't also insist on a volcano base and sharks with lasers on them.
Chris Pine does his best to show he is a serious actor, and in the first half of the movie he is not too bad. The overly complicated technoplot sounds like the sort of thing Tom Clancy might have written. But unfortunately half way through the film this novice Jack Ryan forgets he is supposed to be an analyst with no experience of field work and starts to kick butt. The movie rapidly descends into a run of the mill action thriller with chases, punch ups and even a bomb with a count down on it!
This is a far cry from the original Jack Ryan stories and suggests a certain dumbing down for modern audiences. Fans of the original Tom Clancy movies might enjoy the first half of this film. Fans of the new Star Trek will probably enjoy the second. Altogether its not a complete disaster but as a James Bond wannabe its a poor substitute.