Bottom Line: This aggressively mediocre, unnecessarily convoluted and yet occasionally brisk iteration of author Tom Clancy’s popular reluctant hero is a smorgasbord of JASON BOURNE-again antics and wannabe JAMES BOND-ian flare. In theory, it’s a welcome reboot that’ll reintroduce one of American cinemas most intriguing modern day good guys – shame then that a been-there-done-that odor wafts from every scene as it rushes through a series of occasionally interesting, globe hopping check points. In terms of other Ryan outings, it’s slicker than Ben Affleck’s 2002 bumpy test drive, THE SUM OF ALL FEARS (D+) but nowhere near as good as the heroic HUNT FOR RED OCTOBER (Alex Baldwin, 1990, A+), the popcorn pulpy PATRIOT GAMES (Harrison Ford, 1992, B+) or the commanding CLEAR AND PRESENT DANGER (Ford, 1994, A). It’s clumsily poured foundation and not-true-to-character antics aside, Pine and Costner are fun to watch and work overtime to sell us on future espionage-fueled installments – it works to a certain degree too, as I’m down for a follow-up in hopes that everyone else involved will make it a team effort (‘effort’ being the operative word here). Originally slated for a December 2013 release, we would have all benefitted had the writers stuck to the shadows a bit longer and banged out a script that was a little more worth our time.
Starring: Chris Pine, Kevin Costner, Kiera Knightley and Kenneth Branagh
Directed by: Kenneth Branagh (THOR, HAMLET, FRANKENSTEIN and DEAD AGAIN)
Running time: 106 minutes
Story: Based on the character created by bestselling author Tom Clancy, "Jack Ryan" is a global action thriller set in the present day. This original story follows a young Jack (Chris Pine) as he uncovers a financial terrorist plot. The story follows him from 9/11, through his tour of duty in Afghanistan, which scarred him forever, and into his early days in the Financial Intelligence Unit of the modern CIA where he becomes an analyst, under the guardianship of his handler, Harper (Kevin Costner). When Ryan believes he's uncovered a Russian plot to collapse the United States economy, he goes from being an analyst to becoming a spy and must fight to save his own life and those of countless others, while also trying to protect the thing that's more important to him than anything, his relationship with his fiancée Cathy (Keira Knightley). (c) Paramount
Official site: www.shadowrecruitmovie.com