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.
A congressman's daughter under Secret Service protection is kidnapped from a private school by an insider who calls Det. Alex Cross, sucking him into the case even though he's recovering from the loss of his partner.
When the president of Russia suddenly dies, a man whose politics are virtually unknown succeeds him. The change in political leaders sparks paranoia among American CIA officials, so CIA director Bill Cabot recruits a young analyst to supply insight and advice on the situation. Then the unthinkable happens: a nuclear bomb explodes in a U.S. city, and America is quick to blame the Russians. Written by
Sujit R. Varma
The facility they zoom in on in the satellite shot near the beginning of the movie is the actual Mt. Weather "continuity of government" bunker, which was constructed in the 1950s. The town of Frogtown, Virginia lies just to the west. See more »
When President Nemerov first meets Jack Ryan, he is having his portrait taken with a Sinar 4x5 view camera. We correctly see the President's image upside down in the camera, however the photographer continues to take pictures with an empty camera. In a 4x5 view camera film is loaded with individual sheets placed in front of the glass viewscreen. Seeing the President's image in the camera would be impossible if the camera were actually loaded. Also the sound effect is that of an SLR medium-format camera which uses a focal-plane shutter and flipping mirror. The Sinar uses neither. Its shutter is actually inside the lens and makes very little noise. See more »
In 1973, Egypt and Syria launched a surprise attack against Israel. By Day Two, Israeli ground forces appeared on the verge of defeat. In the event that their ground forces were overrun, an Israeli A-4 jet took off on patrol with one nuclear bomb.
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Sum of All Fears is an enjoyable thriller and the type of movie the Hollywood studios have always been good at making. It's slick, expensive-looking, well-acted and two hours of far-fetched fun. Ben Affleck plays CIA Agent and superman Jack Ryan PhD. Ryan is a former marine, linguist and all-round polymath who saves the world from impending disaster. Affleck is youthful and convincing as Ryan and makes him seem fallible and likable. Ryan becomes a confidant of the wise and sensible CIA Director Bill Cabot (Morgan Freeman) and acquires a beautiful and successful girlfriend (Bridget Moynahan) who believes he's a historian.
The plot is complicated and involves a new Russian leader (Ciaran Hands) who spouts anti-U.S. rhetoric. A Russian chemical attack on Chechnya increases the tension between the two countries. An Israeli atomic bomb is found in the Egyption desert,a relic of the 1973 Arab-Israeli conflict. Neo-Nazi terrorists (led by Alan Bates) want to provoke a nuclear conflict between America and Russia. They acquire the bomb from a South African arms dealer and explode it in Baltimore. The U.S. blames the Russians and the two countries are about to commence all-out nuclear war until Ryan works out what is happening and it all ends happily. The message is that the new Russian leaders are reasonable men signifying that the world has moved on from the Commie bashing flicks of the 1980s.
The idea of a terrorist nuclear attack is topical, but unfortunately the Neo-Nazi villains seem very 1970s. The film has good character actors in supporting roles (e.g., Liev Schrieber, James Cromwell). I much prefer Afflek's Ryan to that of the 52 year-old Harrison Ford who by 1994's Clear and Present Danger seemed too old and surly for the role.
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