CIA analyst Jack Ryan must stop the plans of a Neo-Nazi faction that threatens to induce a catastrophic conflict between the United States and Russia's President by detonating a nuclear weapon at a football game in Baltimore, Maryland.
When the President of Russia suddenly dies, a man whose politics are virtually unknown succeeds him. This change in political leaders sparks paranoia among American CIA officials, so CIA Director Bill Cabot (Morgan Freeman) recruits young analyst Jack Ryan (Ben Affleck) to supply insight and advice on the situation. Then the unthinkable happens: a nuclear bomb explodes in a US city, and America is quick to blame the Russians.Written by
Sujit R. Varma
On one of the monitors during the aircraft carrier scenes, the display reads "09/23/02" and the city of Borgarnes, Iceland can be seen on a map. See more »
When the shock wave tears off the tail rotor of the helicopter, the helicopter dives in level flight, whereas in reality, without the tail rotor to counteract the effect of the main rotor, the fuselage would begin to spin. 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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As an average espionage movie, this is a good flick. In fact, if the names involved weren't "Jack Ryan" and Tom Clancy, and if we hadn't actually seen some terrorist disasters in the last eight months, I would've thought it a really well-done intelligence thriller, looking at how Russia and the U.S. might head towards nuclear war if somehow a nuke went off in the U.S. during a time of tension. Affleck and Freeman seemed fine, but I keep on reminding myself supposedly that these are the characters that should have become James Earl Jones and Baldwin.
After September 11, and especially with the Clancy/Ryan films that have already been made, "Sum" just feels wrong. Philip Baker Hall's line about the response from the Russians, "This is canned!" feels like a description of the whole film. How can you blow up Baltimore and still have a happy go-lucky ending? If you are going to, ADMIT that you're just trying to make a fun Friday night flick, and not a TOPICAL IN-DEPTH film about U.S. security, which is kind of what Affleck and Clancy have been claiming they're doing. (Kind of like claiming the ridiculous "Air Force One" was a serious look at how to respond to terrorism on board the president's plane.)
Also, if this was a film about nuclear war, then it should have stuck to that possibility. If it's a film about the hunt for some terrorists planning a nuclear attack, that would be a different story. The way the film neatly wraps up everything in the end (with the exception of the destruction of BALTIMORE) is both silly and pure Hollywood. I'm disappointed, and I hope this is a hiccup in an otherwise intriguing series of well-done espionage films.
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