The Sum Of All Fears (2002)

I never read any of these books, I’ll be honest about that.  The movies all play out the same however.

Alec Baldwin/James Earl Jones

Harrison Ford/James Earl Jones

Ben Affleck/Morgan Freeman

Introduced to the problem, enter Jack Ryan – bookish charismatic warrior, secrets probed, blind guesses made with potentially ridiculously catastrophic consequences, some Ryan action, lots of government officials at first warm up to Ryan then cool off then completely depend on him (basic Rom-Com plotlines), then Ryan saves everyone and the world.

This one is obviously a play on words of the zero-sum nuclear scenarios developed during the Cold War.  In fact, the President(s) story-lines play out like a scenario which is interesting because of the playacting at the beginning of the movie.  I thought Clear and Present Danger was the most apt so far but this certainly can take a secondary place on any intelligence/spy movie shelf, it was decent.

Besides all the Ryan hyperbole (inspiration for a more gnostic Robert Langdon?), the most unbelievable part of this ridiculous (and yet still fun) movie was not Affleck (he did alright as a pubescent Ryan) but the fact that the conspirators were all quietly murdered.  It ignores the scores of Russian and American civilians and military not privy to the whole conspiracy and build-up to nuclear war.  There will be a lot of questions that would have been answered by a proxy Nuremberg which would have brought the Dressler plot full circle.

TL;DR  It was a fun but not very cerebral movie involving international politics and spies, go watch if you like the same.


UPDATE: Michael Byrne killed them all because they were Nazi’s and everyone only remembers him from The Last Crusade.  You could argue that makes a completely different twist in this movie.  General Vogel reassembled in the ruins and crawls his out and into Russia where he stays for the next 64 years waiting for his chance at redemption.