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The Sum of All Fears (Special Collector's Edition)

3.9 out of 5 stars 1,155 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Ben Affleck, Morgan Freeman, James Cromwell. Rookie CIA agent Jack Ryan returns to find a stolen nuclear bomb before it's too late in this thrilling tale of suspense and intrigue based on Tom Clancy's novel. 2002/color/123 min/PG-13/widescreen.

Special Features

  • The Making of The Sum of All Fears
  • Creating Reality: The Visual Effects

Product Details

  • Actors: Ben Affleck, Morgan Freeman, Ian Mongrain, Russell Bobbitt, James Cromwell
  • Directors: Phil Alden Robinson
  • Writers: Tom Clancy, Daniel Pyne, Paul Attanasio
  • Producers: Mace Neufeld, Stratton Leopold, Tom Clancy
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English, French
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Paramount
  • DVD Release Date: October 29, 2002
  • Run Time: 124 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,155 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005JL8F
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #16,947 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Sum of All Fears (Special Collector's Edition)" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

I've read Clancy (but not this one) and I've seen all the "Clancy" movies many times. My wife drives me nuts by saying, "that wouldn't happen..." so I understand all you who try to analyze the plot for theoretical accuracy. But.... this is a work of entertainment based on fictional accounts of political conflict. Did it entertain? Absolutely. Did Affleck portray Jack Ryan the way Clancy wrote him? Of course. Are the plot points of the movie plausible? Well, maybe, but - that's the point of Clancy. In case you didn't notice, Tom Clancy was executive producer of this film so he certainly had considerable input. Yeah, they changed the chronology of Jack Ryan. Whooppee! That makes Debt of Honor and Executive Orders completely future potential for Ben Affleck as Ryan considering they can now do Cardinal of the Kremlin which they couldn't have done with Harrison Ford. Hmmmm, do we want to see more Clancy movies? Yes!
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I'm a hard-core Tom Clancy fan and was surprised to see how much this latest film adaptation wandered from the book, but it was still very entertaining. The latest incarnation of Jack Ryan is very young and inexperienced. The film seems to pretend the other Jack Ryan adventures haven't happened. Jack is new with the CIA and doesn't know the ropes the way he does in the book. He isn't even married yet. Morgan Freeman is wonderful as his boss (no surprise there) and the relationship between them is the best part of the film.
I'm no expert, but there seemed to be some technical flaws which required that the viewer suspend their skepticism. (Would cell phones continue to work when your local area has been hit by a nuke?) Still a worthy addition to the series. Clancy's readers will have to be especially open-minded though.
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Format: DVD


The challenge facing any screenwriter attempting to adapt a Clancy novel is what to cut from the massive tome to fit the two-hour film run-time limit that theater owners so desperately covet.

For instance, the huge scope of "Red October" was cut to the bone, but just deftly enough to be a decent film. The plots of the other two (Clancy books made into films) actually lent themselves well to film adaptation.

Also, in light of 9/11, a case could be made that "Sum" is Clancy's most terrifying and realistic novel, so great care should have been exercised in bringing this to the screen.

The cinematic result, however, is so hackneyed, so utterly ludicrous, that what was supposed to be high drama and suspense delivers nothing to the devoted Clancy fan but utter disappointment.

The film's first problem is the casting of Ben Affleck as Jack Ryan. Clancy's Jack Ryan is a CIA analyst, an intellectual who is always forced into reluctant action by circumstance.

Affleck's portrayal of Ryan is nothing but the same wide-eyed, slack-jawed, one-note performance that he has phoned-in on every film he's ever done. Wherever he delivers any line concerning analysis of data, people or scenarios, Affleck is totally unbelievable as Ryan.

At least Alec Baldwin, and especially Harrison Ford, correctly nailed the nuances of Ryan's character. But those guys are actors WITH chops, something Affleck is totally devoid of, and boy, is it obvious and ugly to watch.

The second problem is the concession (to the Islamic community in this country) that the producers made of shifting the book's main protagonists from Islamic terrorists to Neo-Nazis.
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1 Comment 41 of 54 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: DVD
Deeply compromised adaptation of the Tom Clancy potboiler. Director Phil Alden Robinson and his cadre of screenwriters tippy-toe around, about, but never directly on, the subject of mass murder by terrorists. The immediate point of comparison to 9/11 in this film would be the small nuclear bomb that presumably obliterates the city of Baltimore, MD. I say "presumably" because we're of course not permitted to see the results of the devastation: Robinson & Co., by the use of very heavy editing, attempt to spare us from associating their fictional event to the real event that occurred a year ago. (Well, some windows are blown out, and a small, rather pretty computer-animated mushroom cloud is perceived for a split-second, indicating the city may not be completely wiped-out, after all.) Indeed, by film's end, it's as if the blast never occurred: in the last scene, Ben Affleck and his pretty wife are having lunch in the park. The End. One wonders why the film studio simply didn't scrap this whole project and eat the loss, if they were so fearful of the movie's subject-matter. Why go to the trouble of making a movie about a catastrophic event if you're not even going to play that event for dramatic value? Of course, the supreme irony is that the fearful filmmakers, who shot this movie before 9/11, changed the Muslim villains of Clancy's story to a cabal of Neo-Nazis, in order to avoid accusations of insensitivity from the Arab-American community. (If what I've heard is true. I've never read the book, myself. If the book doesn't feature Arab terrorists, I stand humbly corrected.) I give *The Sum of All Fears* a 2nd star primarily for the excellent supporting actors (Morgan Freeman, a delightfully smooth Liev Schreiber, James Cromwell, Philip Baker Hall, et al.Read more ›
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