For the fifth time in the past thirty years, Tom Clancy’s most famous creation, Jack Ryan, appeared on big screens everywhere. While not the strongest of the five films, ‘Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit’ is an interesting change in how the films have been presented to the masses.
Paramount continues their hopes of making Chris Pine this generations go-to action star. Following up on his success at James T. Kirk in the rebooted ‘Star Trek’ films, here he portrays a young CIA analyst Jack Ryan in the reboot of this character. And to be honest, Pine is not what is wrong with this film at all, aside from the poor chemistry he has with Keira Knightley.
There are a couple of things wrong with this film, and aside from the previously mentioned poor chemistry between Pine and Knightley, the big issue here is Kenneth Branagh as the antagonist in the film. From the poorly conceived Russian accent to just not being menacing enough, Branagh falls short in this film. Adding insult to that complaint is that Branagh is also the film’s director.
Kevin Costner is wonderful in his smaller bits as Ryan’s CIA handler Thomas Harper and it is hard to imagine a time when Costner won’t be able to steal scenes. He continues to carry a quiet confidence and it really pays off in ‘Jack Ryan’. It will be interesting to see if Costner will also be playing this role in the long-rumoured John Clark film based on another Clancy character and that Costner would be the first bridge between them.
Should Chris Pine ever get the opportunity to have a well crafted and well written action film given to him, he will be a huge star. The signs are all here in ‘Jack Ryan’ and it is a shame that the movie falls flat at times. Should a second film in the rebooted universe come along, it could really be something.
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