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254 of 291 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars This is Not A Prequel, This Is A Reboot!!!, January 16, 2014
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This review is from: Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit (DVD)
First, let me note that there are some spoilers in this review and let me state that it is a very good movie. However, when you see this movie, you will quickly note that the time here doesn't add up and this is more like a reboot of the series than a prequel and as soon as you see the movie, you will likely agree.

Again, I had the pleasure of being invited to this screening and I wasn't going to pass it up being one of the few movies that interests me at the present time.

ACTING

This is really a strong point for the movie!

Chris Pine (Star Trek Reboot) does a great job in the role of Jack Ryan and I'm glad the forgettable Ben Affleck only got one shot at the role (Only thing ladies, Chris Pine's less than perfect complexion shows up big time under these cameras).

Keira Knightley (Pirates of the Carribean) as Cathy was the most memorable iteration of the character in the series and they made a really good choice here.

Kevin Costner (JFK) plays the part of Thomas, the preceptor to Jack Ryan and in typical fashion, Kevin's cool, calm, and collected character works well as the seasoned vet for the CIA who never seems to panic in any situation.

Kenneth Branagh (Thor) plays the Russian Financier who appears to be the leader of a movement in the Russian underworld struggling to help bring Russia back to the center of the world at the expense of the United States, it becomes clear that he is only a piece of the puzzle as the movie progresses but, he does a convincing job as the main villain in the film.

STORY

Again, stop reading if you don't want details...

The movie is set in a post 9/11 world (This is a big reason why this is absolutely not a prequel) and Jack Ryan is pursuiting his doctored at Oxford University in England (Isn't this where all super spy's go?) and we're shown the events of 9/11 unfolding as the crowds flock to the Television sets on the Campus. After 9/11 Jack Ryan enlists in the Marines where he gets deployed to Afghanistan.

Predictable Events unfold that lead to Jack's Helicopter being shot out of the sky and his role in the war is over. In a military hospital, his spine is stabilized and and he begins therapy where he meets Med Student Cathy (His future wife) and she agrees to have dinner with him, "the day he runs completely out of the hospital".

While in the hospital, Thomas is introduced and we see him watching a very promising analytical mind in the form of Jack Ryan. He later offers Jack a job in the CIA working for Wall street where they will analyze financial data to prevent another 9/11 from ever happening again and Jack accepts.

In the midst of all this, the Russians protest a Turkish Pipeline and force a vote at the UN Summit but, the USA refuses to let Russia have a monopoly on Natural Gas in the far east and votes to approve the pipeline (Conspiracy theorists have long said such pipelines are why we are in the middle east). Russia considers the vote for the pipeline as an act of economic War and sets in motion a plan to destroy the US Economy.

While working for a financial company, Jack notices transactions where details aren't fully available, he's sent to Moscow to audit the firm responsible for these billion dollar trades as he suspects they're propping up the US economy to short another market.

One thing leads to another and Jack is made an active agent while on duty in Russia and that's all I'm going to say about the story as there's still a lot left to see and I don't want to ruin it for you.

CINEMATOGRAPHY

While sharp at times, blurry at others, there were times when the cameras appeared to have a hard time focusing and it was slightly disorienting to me for all of 5 minutes or so but, overall they did a good job with everything else.

The scenery, on the other hand chosen was gorgeous and if this was truly Russia then it shows the more beautiful locations and it was overall very nice to look at.

CONTENT

Rated PG-13

Nudity = None I recall
Gun Fire = a handful of scenes coming later in the movie not a ton.
Car Chases = 1 Pseudo chase
Fights = 3 or 4 tops
Cursing = very little

CONCLUSION

At times, Jack Ryan seems a little too unrealistically smart with a knack for being in the right place at the right time but, the Movie itself was very good. If you're assuming that this movie is a suspenseful thriller with twists you might find in a Bond movie, it isn't! What this is a very good action movie that delivers in a big way and it is a great way for Hollywood to start off the new year!

Highly recommend seeing this movie even if you're not a fan of the Tom Clancy Novels.
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Comments

Tracked by 1 customer

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Showing 1-10 of 17 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Feb 1, 2014 12:55:40 PM PST
See Sea says:
I totally agree with all your comments. Great story, great acting by all, and the movie stands on it's own, even though it doesn't follow any specific Clancy novel.

Posted on Mar 5, 2014 2:28:22 PM PST
R. L. MILLER says:
As for Knightly's portrayal of Jack's girlfriend (and future wife) Cathy, ANYTHING had to be better than the way she was portrayed in "Sum Of All Fears". That film's Cathy Muller was as immature as most cast members in "Grey's Anatomy", the way she was jealous of how much of Jack's time his job took from her. From a med student, no less! You would have thought from the way THAT Cathy acted that Jack was playing around on her. Hardly the Cathy Ryan those of us who knew her as Clancy wrote about her in the books.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 5, 2014 8:27:51 PM PST
Perry says:
Yes but, everything you've read on here was as his wife. Crud, this movie is more like Jack Ryan Jr merged with his father.

Posted on Mar 9, 2014 3:27:04 PM PDT
R. Hanley says:
Jack Ryan was a researcher, not an agent, so this movie is out of touch with the character!

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 10, 2014 8:36:24 PM PDT
Perry says:
Actually, now that you mention it, I don't think they ever called him an agent in the movie, just said he was now active.

Honestly though, this Jack Ryan is actually following Jack Ryan Jr and yet they're not referring to him as a Jr.

Posted on Jun 8, 2014 5:38:59 PM PDT
I'm sorry, but even if the film was well put together, it's still the biggest "screw you" to the franchise. Jack Ryan isn't an action hero or kick-butt spy; he's an analyst who gets caught in intense situations involving both foreign and domestic political quarrels. This was a cliched, straight-up action movie that did absolutely zero justice to the character. Plus, Chris Pine, as great of an actor as he is, is no Jack Ryan.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 8, 2014 5:57:03 PM PDT
Perry says:
Well, personally I enjoyed the movie and I understand why you don't but, not everyone feels that way about the film.

I felt the same way in regards to the lone ranger but, I cannot change other peoples opinions.

Also, I pretty much noted this was a spy flick with twists, and said it was very much a straight up action flick.

To me though, Chris Pine played a better version of a young Jack Ryan than Ben Affleck did at an older Jack Ryan.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 15, 2014 9:43:08 AM PDT
You shouldn't be "sorry" for a movie that didn't follow T. Clancy's books. I agree that Ryan is an analyst and not an action hero, and to make his role turn out to be one does
not add to the movie. Interesting movie, just glad I received it as a gift,...maybe the next J. Ryan movie will be better.

Posted on Jul 31, 2014 10:37:27 PM PDT
Jonny says:
I am under the impression that a review is whether you like or dislike a movie. You seem to have written the outline for the screenplay. I didn't read all of what you wrote because it was way too long. Here's my idea of a review:

A better than above average film staring Chris Pine and Kevin Costner in an action thriller that keeps on going. There is a lot of suspense and never really a boring moment in this film involving government intrigue between the U.S. and potential terrorists' activities abroad. Chris Pine makes you forget about Captain Kirk and Kevin Costner redeems himself once again in this action-packed movie.

All that stuff you wrote was just not necessary for those who want to enjoy a film they haven't seen yet and once they do see it as you and I have, there is no reason to write the movie all over again.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 1, 2014 11:08:58 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Aug 1, 2014 11:09:43 AM PDT
Perry says:
Then write your own. No big deal, people have different styles and I actually started this review because there was a review where there was no way the individual had seen the movie.

Typically, I don't point out those issues but, that day the item was so bad I went further than normal.
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