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|Index||134 reviews in total|
Far more cynical and sophisticated then its predecessor, "Patriot
Games", Clear and Present danger dares to suggest that the world isn't
made up of good guys and bad guys, but just a whole lot of people out
for their own conflicting and selfish interests.
Jack Ryan is also more interesting in this movie. Although he does do a bit of action-hero stuff, most of the time he is shown using his head not his muscles.
In this regard, it is both deeper and realer then the movie it sequels. Its a toss up which is the smarter: this or Red October, but for its convoluted political and moral landscape, I give this one my vote as best of the original trilogy.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The third installment in the cinematic series based on Tom Clancy's CIA analyst Jack Ryan, CLEAR AND PRESENT DANGER is a long but engrossing political action thriller that once again puts Harrison Ford, the thinking man's action film actor, in the role of Ryan. This time around, Ford investigates the murder of a close friend of the President (Donald Moffatt) by Colombian drug cartel hit men. When his mentor (James Earl Jones) falls ill due to pancreatic cancer, Ford is suddenly put in charge as deputy director of the CIA. He continues his investigation of the murders and ties them in with one particular drug cartel leader (Miguel Sandoval) with whom the murdered man had a little issue with ill-gotten money,.... But what Ford doesn't know is that, on orders from the revenge-minded Moffatt, his second deputy (Henry Czerny) and the president's national security adviser (Harris Yulin) have ordered a rogue officer named Clark (Willem Dafoe) in with a covert military team to put a huge dent in the cartel's activities. Dafoe and his team are successful at what they do, but the cartels retaliate with deadly results on Ford's friends in the FBI during a visit to Bogota. And when Ford finds out about the operation, he finds himself going down to Colombia a second time to help spirit Dafoe and the covert team out of harm's way. Ably directed, once more, by Phillip Noyce (DEAD CALM; PATRIOT GAMES), CLEAR AND PRESENT DANGER gives Ford another chance to prove his mettle in the action genre. The suspense and CIA intrigue are all laid out exceptionally well by Noyce and his first-rate cadre of screenwriters, Donald Stewart, Steven Zaillian, and John Milius. Jones is at his usual best as the now-dying Admiral Greer, and Anne Archer returns as Ford's wife. But a performance really worth noting here is Czerny's as the unconsciously corrupt CIA deputy director Robert Ritter. About as uncouth and conniving a heavy as there has ever been in the movies, his performance is absolutely chilling and believable. It makes the whole notion of our government going beyond reasonable bounds even more credible than it already is. Some will object to the film not pandering to Clancy's right-wing political points of view or his gung-ho pro-military stance, but that isn't necessarily what this movie is about. It does not condemn covert military action, but it does question the wisdom of sending men into a war zone where the risks are extreme, the reasons for such actions are vague at best, and there is no clear exit strategy. Such points are made extremely well in this film's action format; and for those reasons, it gets the highest marks.
I think this is the best of the four Jack Ryan films. After seeing
Clear and Present Danger, it is clear and present to me that director
Phillip Noyce learned from his few mistakes in Patriot Games. This
movie is faster, stronger, and more interesting. Harrison Ford gives
another solid performance. There is less of a character to Ryan in this
screenplay, but he also strikes me as more heroic. We end up rooting
for him rather than just watching him. So far we have seen Ryan take on
the Soviet Navy and the IRA, this time he gets involved with a
Columbian drug lord.
There is one potential problem with Clear and Present Danger. The movie requires just as much from the audience as it gives them. There is entertainment to be had here, but only if you pay close attention. The plot is complex, and fairly easy to get lost in. I personally don't see what is so hard about paying attention to a film, but with the action genre, I think people prefer to be entertained in a mindless eye candy kind of way rather than a thought provoking-thriller kind of way (but that's just my bias).
Clear and Present Danger is still a good movie. Whether you are into the Jack Ryan novels or not, I'd recommend it.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Harrison Ford proved in "Patriot Games" and this film that he's the best Jack Ryan. Sadly, this was his last turn as Jack. This film topped the others in intensity, scope and story. Involving Jack and the Government with Colombian drug cartels. Kudos also to Tom Clancy, director Phillip Noyce, James Horner's fine music score and the fine cast. Veteran actors made up a terrific supporting cast: James Earl Jones as Greer in a sad scene, Willem Dafoe, Benjamin Bratt and Raymond Cruz as the U.S. military mercenaries, a quartet of despicable villains: Henry Czerny, Harris Yulin, Joaquim de Almeida, Miguel Sandoval and Donald Moffat as the President and Anne Archer as Jack's loving, understandable and supportive wife. It will be difficult to match the quality of this production in future Jack Ryan films.
Someone once said that absolute power corrupts absolutely. That saying
is the theme at the heart of Clear And Present Danger, the third film
in the Jack Ryan film series. With a near perfect combination of
acting, action, music and script it is also a thriller of the highest
Harrison Ford takes his performance of Jack Ryan up to a new level with this film. His performance as the principled Ryan stays int eh front seat at all times as Ryan confronts those in the film, especially in the final scenes of the film. Ford is also at the top of his game in the action sequences of the film as well proving yet again that Ford is both a fine actor and a fine action hero as well.
The rest of the cast is good as well. Willem Dafoe makes a welcomed good guy appearance as Clark, the mysterious CIA operative leading the secret war. Anne Archer makes a welcomed return as Cathy Ryan though she is underused sadly. There's also Henry Czerny and Harris Yulin as the me leading the war of behalf of their President (played expertly by Donald Moffat) plus there's Joaquin De Almeida, Miguel Sandoval, Raymond Cruz, Tim Grimm and of course James Earl Jones. In truth the whole cast is good enough to mention if there was enough space.
Of course there's the action sequences of the film. Of special mention is the signature ambush sequence that easily belongs amongst the best action sequences ever dedicated on a frame of film. While that sequence alone is excellent one can't forget about the many other (and smaller) sequences in the film that are no less impressive. Overall though it is unfair to call this an action film by any means.
If anything can this describe this film it is the words "thriller of the highest quality". The screenwriters took Tom Clancy's superb novel, trimmed down to film length, but kept many of the novel's key points. The result is, when put together with Phillip Noyce's direction and the superb score of James Hormer, an intelligent thrill ride where the corruption of absolute power leads to a secret war with lives and the reputations of nations at stakes where enemies are both within and without with only one man capable of unraveling it all.
Clear And Present Danger is a thriller of the most unusual kind. It is a thriller that (in the words of Jack Ryan) sees the world not in black and white but as right and wrong. With its tale of a secret war and hidden agendas, the film is all the better for it. It may even be the best of the Jack Ryan films made so far but don't take my word for it. Go see the film for your self.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This was Harrison Ford's second outing as Jack Ryan following "Patriot
Games" from two years earlier. (The character was also played by Alec
Baldwin in "The Hunt for Red October" and Ben Affleck in "The Sum of
all Fears", neither of which I have seen). The plot concerns a covert
war being waged by American troops against drug traffickers in Colombia
authorised by the President and his aides without the approval of
Congress. Ryan, who has been promoted to Deputy Director of the CIA
following the death of his mentor Admiral Greer, has to try and uncover
the truth, which puts him into danger as the bad guys try to cover
"Clear and Present Danger" is in many ways a different film from "Patriot Games", and both have their strengths and weaknesses. "Patriot Games" was a more straightforward film. Although the villains were Irish terrorists there was no serious attempt to analyse, or make a statement about, the Northern Ireland situation; Irish terrorism was simply used as the basis for an exciting action thriller. "Clear and Present Danger" is a longer film than "Patriot Games"- at nearly two and a half hours it probably exceeds the optimum length for a thriller- and with more talk and less action, although there are some good action sequences. Those that stand out are the "computer duel" between Ryan and Ritter and the scenes where Ryan travels to Colombia to try and rescue the American soldiers who have been abandoned by the President in an attempt to try and prevent the truth coming out.
It is a more political film about corruption in high places and the misuse of authority, reminiscent of Watergate and possibly also the Iran/Contra affair. There has been some debate on this board about whether President Bennett is a villain, although to me it seems quite clear that the film-makers intended to portray him as one. His decision to send troops into Colombia is motivated less by a desire to combat the international drugs trade than by a desire to avenge a personal friend who has been murdered on the orders of Ernesto Escobedo, a powerful drug lord from whom he had stolen money. (The surname Escobedo suggests that this character was based upon the real-life drug baron Pablo Escobar). He orders soldiers into action and then abandons them to their fate out of political expediency. There is also the question of the legality of his actions. The film takes the view that they are clearly illegal because they violate the War Powers Act 1973. The constitutionality of this Act, in fact, has been denied- not least by every President since its passage- but none of those Presidents have ever attempted to challenge it in the Supreme Court.
Harrison Ford is once again very good as Ryan, perhaps even better than he was in "Patriot Games". Ford is not as versatile as some actors, but he does have his strengths, and playing solid, decent and reliable heroes is one of them, displayed not only in his Jack Ryan films but also in films like "Witness", "The Fugitive", "K-19 The Widowmaker" and the Indiana Jones series. Ryan's function in this film is not only as its action hero but also as its moral anchor. He is the man who can be relied upon to stand up for honour and decency, the man who, unlike officials from the President downwards, refuses to dance the "Old Potomac Two-Step" of concealment and corruption. (The phrase is taken from a key scene at the end of the film, when he refuses the President's blandishments to cover up the scandal). Political conspiracy thrillers have becomes something of a Hollywood cliché ever since Watergate, but this is one of the better ones.
Oh my god. This movie is just another proof of how some people don't
give a damn about making stories that respect people and at least show
a little truth about other countries and cultures. This movie's
representation of Colombia is just like Americans like to see people
that they consider inferior, and criminal, thus, subject to be
humiliated by means of a pathetic motion picture.
This movie shows American, or Hollywood's, total ignorance about Colombia and the whole drug trafficking problem. I know is just a movie, but people around the world, naive or stupid people, believe in what movies show like if it was God's truth. Sure, this is just another action movie with predictable characters and plot, nothing to be studied further. Nonetheless, it hurts to see movies that only promote hatred and discrimination against Colombians.
This picture shows the way Hollywood works: "you can sell people crap, and make them eat it"
When his mentor and close friend Admiral Greer becomes fatally ill, dedicated and scrupulously honest CIA analyst Jack Ryan is appointed deputy director of operations. He finds himself in over his head when he uncovers an unlawful political strike against a Colombian drug cartel, and is determined to stay true to his duty even if it means betraying his colleagues and prominent White House officials who appear to be implicated in the scheme. Follow-up to Patriot Games doesn't have the same level of intensity or suspense, but it has an intriguing story, good performances, and impressive action set pieces. Doesn't always hold your attention during the more dramatic or plot-heavy moments, but it's well-crafted and well-made. **½
I loved the movie. I've watched it many times. However, last night I noticed something strange. In Clear and Present Danger, Greer tells Jack Ryan to look up Clark when he gets to Bogota. Of course, Jack Ryan does meet John Clark. Supposedly, Jack Ryan has been with the CIA for some time now, considering the position he holds. Acutually, Ryan should know who Clark is. In the "Sum of All Fears", another great movie, which is supposedly a prequel, young Jack Ryan goes on a mission with John Clark. Therefore, in Clear and Present Danger, Jack Ryan already knows who John Clark is. Am I mistaken on this? Also, the "Sum of All Fears" is not shown as much as Clear and Present Danger.
Harrison Ford returns as Jack Ryan, a CIA operative who's boss becomes
hospitalized at a time when the President of the United States has
war on the Columbian drug cartels (again?)
I saw this movie for the first time the other day. I have seen "The Hunt For Red October" and "The Sum of All Fears" before, so I was familiar with Jack Ryan, but Ryan has moved up the ladder a little bit in this film and he finds himself in a twist to the plot: people are behind some of the illegal tactics while fighting the war against drugs that lead him to a place where he, for obvious reasons, reluctantly treads.
This is a very good movie! Willem Dafoe was his co-hort in the drug war and they find themselves together against the common enemy, but the trust is not felt between the two of them and the tension created is felt throughout the whole film! Way to go, Tom Clancy!
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