Attaching a best-selling authors name to a big budget box
office adaptation doesn’t promise a smash hit. On the New York Times bestseller
list, these stories about Tom Clancy’s popular character were well received. At
the box office, this film reboot, not so much. Fortunately, the latter nearly always
guarantees, it will be a hit at my house.
9/11 enlistment in the Marines ends when he pulled two fellow Marines out of a
downed, burning helicopter and suffered burns and serious injuries as a result.
Worry over him ever being able to properly walk again is called into question during his
therapy and recovery at Walter Reed but despite a lingering back injury, he
does recover… and is approached by Thomas Harper (Kevin Costner), a Navy man
whose career is about secrets kept for the CIA. There solely for the purpose of
recruiting Jack, ten years later, Jack has finished his education, is engaged
to the woman he loves – his former doctor, Cathy Muller (Keira Knightley) – and
is working as an analyst for the CIA where he monitors the possibility of terrorist
attacks by following the money.
When he notices account irregularities in a
Russian entity, he is sent to Moscow to uncover the truth behind the anomalies,
only to realize that the enemy (Kenneth Branagh) they’re up against an enemy who has anticipated
the United States’ opening move.
fest. But it was. (By most reviews I pursued anyway.) Sure, it takes some of
the typical twists and turns, and has an often-cast-in-this-role Chris Pine, however, I really liked all of that…
normalness. For starters, the cast is a great mix of talent and I enjoyed being
introduced to a new kick butt kind of hero, only instead of being a Jason
Bourne type of operator, this guy is more “human” in that he does have
limitations – and he isn’t “operational.” There was a kind of quality to this
character (something I cannot put my finger on) that was relatable, plus I
found the interactions (even when they were fighting) between Jack and Cathy
darling. There was a good sense of patriotism involved also, which is a
surefire way to pull me into the script and keep me entwined in its excitement
and the push-and-pull of its good vs. bad plotline.
the latter half of the film hopping. What’s nice is the lead-in to the climax
is more mental suspense than action-packed, this allows for less confusion or
distracting explosions, plus the lack of an overlong freeway chase makes for a
tense, but still not an overly drawn-out conclusion that has one too many times felt as if it needed
to be cut by 5-10 minutes. But, of course, following protocol, the writer’s do pull one last trick out of their hat and it works well enough to wrap up the story. If you like films like The Bourne series or any of
the blockbuster films in this genre, Jack
Ryan is worth considering. Origin stories can be tough, however it’s how
Jack is introduced and how he reacts to life-and-death situations that set him
apart from the norm and if that’s the only reason, it’s a (more) unique way to
justify the changes in an oft-retold script.
burned, other characters are shot and there are three crashes, one involves a
bomb in the back of the vehicle]. An unmarried couple lives together [there’s
one scene of them talking lying in bed together], profanity consists of sh*t, misuse
of God’s name and an f-word. The film is rated PG13.)