Monday, 27 January 2014

Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit - review

Not content with playing a new version of Captain Kirk, Chris Pine steps into the shoes previously worn by Alec Baldwin, Harrison Ford and Ben Affleck in this full system reboot of the Jack Ryan franchise... even if this is the first one to feature his name in the title.

Would the casual cinemagoer actually be able to tell you that The Hunt For Red October, Patriot Games, Clear and Present Danger and The Sum Of All Fears were all linked by the same character?

Quick as a flash we speed through John Patrick Ryan's, Jack to his friends, backstory:

  • A shot of him at London School of Economics tells us he is smart.

  • Seeing him watch 9/11 on TV and a guy saying "hey, you're American. Sorry man" tells us he's American.

  • We then cut to a military helicopter in Afghanistan to tell us he is a soldier.

  • The copter is then attacked and we see him on a stretcher. He is hurt but a hero.

    Character building on the most economical of scales.

  • He recovers in hospital where a date with Keira Knightley is used as an incentive to heal. Some might prefer to stay in a wheelchair! Bazinga!

    He is also recruited by Kevin Costner to the CIA to work on Wall Street to follow the money and find potential terrorist groups.

    Before you can say "America. F*ck Yeah!", Cut to ten years later and Ryan uncovers a plot by some stereotypical 80s bad guy Russians led by heavily accented Kenneth Branagh (pulling double duty as director too) to launch a terrorist attack on the US and then sell huge reserves of dollars to crush the economy.

    Follow that? That's the simplified version that Costner asks Ryan to explain the plot to him (and the audience) in layman terms.

    So in the words of Team America: World Police:

    "From what I.N.T.E.L.L.I.G.N.C.E has gathered, it would be 9/11 times 100.
    9/11 times a hundred? Jesus, that's...
    Yes, 91,100."

    Cue Jack Ryan becoming a fully operational agent which involves him:

  • having the bathroom fight scene from Casino Royale

  • several scenes of his girlfriend thinking he is having an affair because he is off doing spy shit before breaking the oath he took when joining the CIA to tell her the truth, which obviously then gets her into immediate danger

  • the needing to download files from the bad guy's office while his girlfriend distracts him over dinner scene from a Mission Impossible movie

  • ending with the race against time to find and diffuse a bomb from "EVERY action movie ever made"

  • Can't say I'm looking forward to the sequel where he must rescue Keira and their newborn child in Jack Ryan's Daughter.

    2 stars

    No comments:

    Post a Comment