Clear and Present Danger (1994)


So (ad nauseum) a movie I didn’t really understand the first time I saw it.  I’m probably not the only who didn’t really understand the difference between deputy directors of intelligence and operations and how for a long time that was a fundamental schism in the CIA, how policies of covert action and assassination were classically approved and even directly ordered by the executive branch, how the CIA was used as a tool to often achieve selfish or not-in-national-best-interest goals, how there can be (although this isn’t a guarantee) moral and ethical people working in the CIA who strive for professional and appropriate behavior all while striving to keep their country safe.

Jack Ryan quickly passes beyond the frailties of normal humans but especially with someone like Harrison Ford, there is an affable determination that does endear him to the audience.  It did crack me up to hear Joaquim de Almeida referred to as the Latin Jack Ryan which is believable with the performance by Baldwin 4 years earlier but only works in this one in the literal sense of their role in intelligence which if Moira was actually aware of – it would be doubtful that even that overworked federal employee would be allowed to or indulge in an affair with him.

Since there’s a disconnect between the generation prior to Colby/Hersh-Church/Pike, the generation of disillusionment, and the following generations who aren’t quite aware or not interested in the factual history of the intelligence community and their relationship with the branches of US government (all 3).  I would imagine that would make a viewing of a movie like this highly relative and would give a dramatically different interpretation of the story.

Go watch it and see how it makes you feel and think, then report back with your non-presidential findings!