Movie Review: Jack Ryan Shadow Recruit

Cast: Chris Pine, Kevin Costner, Keira Knightley, Kenneth Branagh

Director: Kenneth Branagh

Based on characters created by Tom Clancy

Jack Ryan is an iconic character, he has been played by Adam Baldwin, Harrison Ford, and Ben Affleck. Now Chris Pines has taken the mantle upon him and while he is a great James T. Kirk he is a mediocre Jack Ryan.   Now let me explain my prejudices, in my opinion Harrison Ford is the best Jack Ryan and all others pale.  So when I think of Jack Ryan I see Harrison Ford, similar as when I think of James Bond I see Sean Connery with Daniel Craig tagging along.  Also I prefer films that are based upon the books that Tom Clancy actually wrote. I’ve read most of the Jack Ryan series and frankly to write a story based on the character that Clancy created doesn’t do much for me.

Having said that let me say that what was presented wasn’t bad, wasn’t great but wasn’t bad.  I didn’t care for the chemistry or lack there of between Chris Pines and Keira Knightley.  Branagh did a good job with the directing and his presence as the villain was a bonus in the film.  Kevin Costner seemed tired  in this film.  I’m not saying he is phoning it in but the intensity that he had in say No Way Out doesn’t show up in this film.  Now granted Costner was a younger man in that film but he has had that same intensity in say Open Range.  I really wanted to see more of that than what I got with him as Ryan’s handler.

There is some action in this movie but again it seems patched in, this didn’t have Clancy’s pacing to it.  The action was more like a shiny object you focus in on it and you’re fascinated by what is happening but the why of the action, the reason seems to be missing.

I’m going to give this movie 2.5 stars out of 5.  And I hope that perhaps the next Jack Ryan movie will be based upon Debt of Honor or Executive Order.

On a side note WordPress let me know that this blog turned two last week.  Thanks to all of you who have taken time to see what is going on here and put up with my ramblings.