Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit (2014)
Believe it or not, I stopped watching this halfway through and then came back months later to finish it. I know there’s people who enjoyed it but it was so stupid for so much of the first half that I just couldn’t do it. I should have kept going because the last half was decent. There’s a reason for that though, took me awhile to figure it out. I like the character of Jack Ryan as fusion of analysis/operations branches of the CIA in one man despite the incredible suspensions of disbelief he requires. I even like Chris Pines. I abhorred Chris Pines attempting to act as Jack Ryan however… Branagh was good but clinical in his Cherevin. Kevin Costner was a half-hearted Leroy Jethro Gibbs. Keira Knightley was a boring stock character.
This is standard meat and potatoes action spy movie fare. There’s nothing new or unique about it but it is not self-referential, it is not bleak and horrifying to watch, it is not a gag-reel comedy. If you like spy movies, you’ll enjoy this one. Just try not to turn it off at the dinner diversion. I’m not saying it’s well thought out and doesn’t create it’s own reality in order to even exist as a plot. It’s just that if you’ve seen the utter crap that exists in the genre then sometimes you are content to get a procedural espionage movie.
As much as it is a reboot and an homage, there is still too much cold-war thriller at work here. Cloak and dagger with the tropes of the last 50 years in a modern age with better cameras.
But dat trailer…