Customer Review

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Chris Pine and Keira Knightley make compelling viewing, 30 Jan. 2014
This review is from: Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit [DVD] (DVD)
Jack Ryan is a character in movies who never seems to quite know who he is. He is sometimes the CIA desk jockey and others swinging precariously between Bourne and Bond. In this franchise reboot he is all these things and a little more.

Jack Ryan is fresh out of Marine academy when the helicopter he's in takes a dive and he suffers a broken back. Once he recovers he find himself with a new girlfriend (Knightley) and a job as an undercover analyst keeping an eye on Wall Street. When he discovers the Russians are not being entirely honest about their money transactions he is sent to Moscow to discover why. In doing so he realises a plot to cripple the American economy and a devastating terrorist plan.

Chris Pine makes for compelling viewing whenever he's on screen and in the main keeps us involved even when the story starts to loosen its grip on our interest. He and Keira Knightley work well together and you get a real sense of a couple who want to be together, struggling to hold it all together, even before the Russians get involved. This adds a quality and buy-in that serves well to the end. Likewise the passive analyst in Ryan, with his Marine training, finds he has to kill and takes no joy in doing it. It all feels very real and gripping. Even the addition of Ryan's mentor, played by the grounding Costner, feels like a good balance.

The troubles begin as Chris Pine's Ryan arrives at the offices of Viktor Cherevin (Branagh). Once we're here the Russians are uniformly represented as Vodka guzzling, woman obsessed bad guys hell bent on bringing the USA to its knees. It is a premise that's old, overdone and lurches the film from excellently staged thriller to techno action flick, more closely resembling the Bond movies of the last century. There is an unlikely break-in to a high tech building, a satisfying car chase and a final twenty minutes so done before, the only thing original is the lack of any Arab terrorists.

Jack Ryan starts as compelling character driven thriller but descends into a blur of stylised computer visuals and tired action. Worth a watch but only to see Pine and Knightley at play.
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 2 Jun 2014 18:50:22 BDT
powderfinger says:
Well done J.Potter, this is the first review here that manages to describe the Ryan character properly, wether in print or film. For my money, Baldwin and Ford played Ryan as Clancy intended - a 'reluctant hero' he is neither JB initialled characters, but a family man trying to do the right thing.

Posted on 28 Dec 2014 02:52:57 GMT
Timelord-007 says:
A detailed informative helpful review sir.
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