CIA analyst Jack Ryan must thwart the plans of a terrorist faction that threatens to induce a catastrophic conflict between the United States and Russia's newly elected president by detonating a nuclear weapon at a football game in Baltimore.
Tough guy Thomas Beckett is a US Marine working in the Panamanian jungle. His job is to seek out rebels and remove them using his sniper skills. Beckett is notorious for losing his partners... See full summary »
Jack Ryan is back and this time the bad guys are in his own government. When Admiral James Greer becomes sick with cancer, Ryan is appointed acting CIA Deputy Director of Intelligence. Almost before he can draw a breath in his new position, one of the president's closest friends and his family are murdered in their sleep by what appears to by drug cartels. Ryan is called in to investigate, but unknown to him the CIA has already sent a secret field operative to lead an illegal paramilitary force in Colombia against cartels. Things get even more complicated when his team is set up and he loses and agent in the field and a friend of his wife's, who was the murdered agent's secretary is murdered that same day. Ryan must then risk not only his career, but his life to expose the truth behind the mystery. Written by
With 2002's Sum of All Fears in close 2nd, this one remains the best of all 4: it has Harrison Ford as Ryan, solid sub-plots (the one involving Dafoe as John Clark [Liv Schreiber in SOAF]being the best!) and moral dimension, especially in the ambiguous sense toward the end. I've read many of Clancy's books, and many are very good (well, the early Ryan series are great but after Debt of Honor they went downhill!), however they are all VERY long (mostly 800p +), detailed and complex, so adapting them into 120p screenplays must be a nightmare, but Clancy actually participated in the writing of this one - along with Steve Zallian (Schindler's List) and John Millius, no less! - so it turns out we get a decent enough one. In all fairness, the script is great, featuring a slightly different ending than the book. If you add good actors and tight direction (Noyce knows Jack Ryan and Ford, since he already directed Patriot Games) you can not go wrong, and this flies high. Smart, tight, utterly convincing and believable and well executed, this is that rare brainy "action" film that does get you involved and hanging on the edge of your seat.
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