This new version of the saga of CIA analyst Jack Ryan begins as Jack attends the London School of Economics. 9/11 happens. He subsequently enlists in the Marines, sustaining severe injuries when the chopper deploying him to Afghanistan is shot down. While in intense rehab, he grabs the attention of Harper, a man who works for the CIA and who would like Jack to finish his studies, get a job on Wall Street, and seek out terrorist plots through their financial transactions. Ten years pass. Jack finds anomalies in the accounts of a Russian named Cherevin and thinks he should go to Russia to check out what's going on. He's told not to tell anyone who he is, including his girlfriend Cathy, which makes her doubt him when she catches him in some lies. In Russia, Cherevin assigns someone to assist Jack, but when the two are alone, the man tries to kill Jack instead, so Jack kills him. Obviously, Cherevin is hiding something. Jack goes to meet him and says he'll bring his fiancée along, but ... Written by
firstname.lastname@example.org / revised by statmanjeff
This reboot feels like a knockoff similar to A Good Day To Die Hard. Both have chase scenes in Moscow and both were made relatively cheaply, well this one even more so. What disappointed me most was the attention to detail that Clancy was always famous for. A great deal is smoothed over to forward the plot in it's brisk pace. Previous Ryan films were capable of bringing depth to the peril and stakes as the players made their moves. Where previous Ryan films had large political stakes that brought real tension, the stakes here seem to be more economic than fear for great loss and limb, although the third act implies some mayhem. In general you can't really compare this cheap knockoff to a minor tent pole film that has a big enough budget to have a larger scope and sexier action scenes. The car chase is too generic in jump camera shots, etc. to feel much tension. But other spy thriller moments do thrill, so I will give this film enough credit to deliver on some of the goods. Another unflattering comparison is the Bourne Legacy reboot. It also suffered from lack of budget for a decent action punch.
Pine as Ryan is less inspired for me. Perhaps because his face has been seen quite a bit lately, or his characterisation has less depth. Same goes for the mentor character played by Kevin Costner. There is too little meat to chew on. A better move would have added a few more wrinkles (not necessarily plot twists), such as more than just a few shots of the terrorism plot brewing in the United States. I would support a sequel to this reboot if a better budget with some more meat pieces, and a story that is fleshed out better. I believe director Branagh is a capable but not exceptional director, and some scenes slightly miss the mark. The overall slick look that is also a trademark to Ryan films is missing here, although the production design is not lacking. My final analysis is that this is a film not based on a Tom Clancy novel that is an average of 900 pages of background, substance, and real drama. That lack of depth makes this thriller too transparent.
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