Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit

[4.0 stars] [IMDb Link] [Amazon Link]

This movie was an attempt to reboot the "Jack Ryan" franchise, but it bombed at the box office, and there's no indication of any more movies about the Tom Clancy hero in the pipeline. It also receives a mediocre score from the IMDB raters.

I, on the other hand, enjoyed it quite a bit. After a steady diet of comedies, animation, comic-book sci-fi, "respectable" dramas, and documentaries, I was probably starved for a present-day action thriller.

Jack's character (played by Chris Pine) is established masterfully in the first few minutes: he's patriotic, brave, brilliant at establishing connections on sketchy evidence. Unfortunately, he also nearly gets killed when his helicopter is shot down in Afghanistan. While in rehab he meets his bride-to-be, Cathy. (The young Anne Archer is played by Keira Knightley.) He's also sought out by CIA honcho Thomas Harper (Kevin Costner) who's impressed with his record. And he's hired as a covert operative, working at a Wall Street firm, tracking financial movements that might foreshadow a terrorist attack.

And of course, he finds one, masterminded by the shady Russian oligarch Viktor Cherevin (Kenneth Branagh). Also, of course, Jack is the only one who can suss out the additional information about the scheme, and he's sent off to Moscow. And—I'm not sure Tom Clancy would have approved of this—Cathy, clueless about Jack's secret life, manages to tag along. She will play both a damsel-in-distress and invaluable ally in the upcoming action.

Now, in the cold light of day, much of the plot and most of the action is semi-ludicrous, but that didn't stop me from having a good time watching. Chris Pine makes a fine addition to the I-played-Jack-Ryan club, other members being Harrison Ford, Alec Baldwin, and Ben Affleck.


Last Modified 2014-12-10 12:28 PM EST