JACK RYAN – SHADOW RECRUIT: THE REVIEW

Jack Ryan is one of my all time favourite movie characters, the films I loved were The Hunt for Red October, Clear and Present Danger and Patriot Games, huge intelligent blockbuster espionage genius films originally penned by espionage master himself, Tom Clancy. The Hunt for Red October is my all time favourite – that Russian operatic music, the huge submarine, and Sean Connery (Scottish) doing an American/Scottish/Russian accent rolled into one – amazing. I loved Alec Baldwin in the role of Jack Ryan but I honestly believed Harrison Ford was the all time best Jack Ryan. I was so disappointed when he stopped doing them and we had to see Affleck and his forgetful performance in The Sum of All Fears. I think studios wanted to give it a rest after that and now BOOM it is back, with an “origins” film, a reboot to the series with Kenneth Brannagh directing, and being a bad guy, and Captain Kirk, Chris Pine, emerging as the franchise master who this time is the analyst that appears to get himself into a lot of trouble, JACK RYAN.

 

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JACK RYAN SHADOW RECRUIT – THE SALTY POPCORN REVIEW

 

Firstly, it wiped the floor of The Sum of All Fears, it gave us an opportunity to see how Jack broke his back, it showed us a lead in to the Jack Ryan we are used to and allowed us to witness why he is who he is, and that is why I freaking LOVED this film. Kenneth Brannagh brings his usual directing flair to the screen and gives us an intelligent espionage film that will appeal to both your discerning viewers who require substance but also to the action junkie who just wants shit blown up and shot at. I felt it got somewhat convoluted explaining all the financial stuff, I loved when the Kevin Costner character said something like “dumb it down” or “assume I am dumb”, this simplified it somewhat and will help the confused viewer.

 

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JACK RYAN SHADOW RECRUIT – THE SALTY POPCORN REVIEW

 

Chris Pine as Jack Ryan is good for the younger audience, I think he pulls it off, my issue with him though is that Jack Ryan is supposed to be quite bookish, he is an uber intelligent analyst who gets in the wrong places at the right times and can defend himself when he needs to. I felt Pine shone in the action sequences or scenes that required humor but I do not see  him as being uber intelligent, he gives off jock more than nerd. But his comedic scenes and action scenes are enough in this film to pull him through. My viewing partner for the screening, Sam, said that when he was doing the “quick thinking decision making thing when shit hit the fan” he basically became Captain Kirk on the bridge, I tried to explain that this is just Chris Pine doing that, but while it is Pine doing it, he basically is Captain Kirk now. Will having two franchises effect one or the other? If anything people will choose Trek over Ryan. I just hope this does not ruin the reboot of the franchise.

 

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JACK RYAN SHADOW RECRUIT – THE SALTY POPCORN REVIEW

 

I love Costner, he has and always will be one of my favourite actors. He gets better with age and he has that leader thing and slight inoffensive patronising senior quality to him that works so well. And that slight drawl to his accent gives a great sounding voice to the screen that is always comforting to the viewer and the characters playing opposite him. I imagine that Costner’s character is basically what James Earl Jones plays in the Ford films, just younger. I love that he is involved, and is into the action, while at the same time provides that dry sense of humor with scenes like the “dog” one.  He has quite a few films out this year and I am stoked he is making a comeback.

 

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JACK RYAN SHADOW RECRUIT – THE SALTY POPCORN REVIEW

 

Brannagh is superb as the director of the film. He fully captured the tone of a Ryan film, there was the setting in Russia and the lingering cold war themes of Tom Clancy while modernising it to an “economic act of war”, there was the beautiful Russian choir music for the score, the film builds into a nice climax and throws some great action at the screen but I have to say it, he just isn’t scary enough as a bad guy. I found him one of the weakest opponents to Jack Ryan in the entire franchise to date. Kicking a doctor and shooting someone do not make thee scary.

 

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JACK RYAN SHADOW RECRUIT – THE SALTY POPCORN REVIEW

 

Keira Knightley as Mrs Jack Ryan. Loved her part, I loved Anne Archer as the older Cathy in the Ford films, so so sexy. Knightley does a younger version pretty well and her chemistry with Pine is great and better than the chemistry is the sometimes comical banter they do together, they play off each other incredibly well. Biggest issue with her, that Sam loathed in the film, and once he pointed it out, I could not stop thinking about…. Knightley doing an American accent. NO NO NO NO – she should only do English. Why not make her English? They altered the main story and timeline of Jack Ryan – why not the nationality of the girlfriend/ wife?

I am stoked the franchise has rebooted, and we can’t have Ford back, the guy is due for pasture, and Pine does a good job to start. I think Brannagh has brought something good to the canon of Ryan, I just hope the rest of the planet agrees so we can get more of it.

Jack Ryan – Shadow Recruit is out today at most cinemas. It is rated M and runs for 105mins.

 

JK’S POP SCORE:

4 Pops

KERNEL DARA’S POP SCORE: 

4 Pops

KERNEL ANDREW’S POP SCORE:

3 and a Half Pops

KERNEL BEN’S POP SCORE:

2 and a Half Pops

KERNEL JOHN’S POP SCORE: 

3 and a Half Pops

KERNEL ADAM’S POP SCORE:

3 Pops