CIA analyst Jack Ryan must stop the plans of a Neo Nazis 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.
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
Dr. Elena Rhyzkov, a character mentioned in an early scene set in the CIA offices, was also a character in Phil Alden Robinson's Sneakers (1992), in which Rhyzkov was played by Lee Garlington, who also appears as Mary Pat Foley in this film. See more »
When the Russians mobilize anti-aircraft rockets they don't remove the lid from the top of the barrel, which has to be done before hoisting the missiles. 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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