'Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit': An Entertaining Spy Thriller You've Seen Before
Jack Ryan (Chris Pine), the character created by novelist Tom Clancy, is back and yes folks, you've seen him before - many, many times. Aka the CIA wonder played by Alec Baldwin (Hunt for Red October). Then there was my favorite Jack Ryan type; Harrison Ford ('Patriot Games' and 'Clear and Present Danger'); followed by my not so favorite, Ben Affleck (The Sum of all Fears).
In 'Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit,' directed by Kenneth Branagh and written by David Koep along with Adam Cozad, we meet Ryan at the beginning of his career.
The date is September 11, 2001. Ryan, a student at the London School of Economics, watches the destruction of the Towers on television. This is the day that everything changed for him.
The next time we see Ryan he is a Lieutenant in the Marines, sitting inside a helicopter and joking with two privates on his way to Afghanistan. The chopper is hit and even though Ryan sustains grave injuries, he manages to save his fellow soldiers and is declared a hero.
Jack winds up at Walter Reed hospital, where in between intense physical therapy; he meets and falls in love with his future wife, Dr. Cathy Muller (Keira Knightley). But it's his encounter with CIA agent Thomas Harper (Kevin Costner) that sets his life in a totally different direction.
Jack is recruited by the CIA to do undercover work on Wall Street, where he investigates any weird financial transactions that might be connected to terrorists. And guess what folks? That's exactly what happens. Ryan discovers that Victor Cherevin (Kenneth Branagh), a very pissed off Russian, is trying to destroy the US economy, which includes a terrorist attack on our soil.
This leads Ryan to Moscow and that's where all the fun starts. Meaning, this is where the film grabbed my attention and pretty much held it till the credits rolled.
Yes, the film has a generic quality. You've seen it before and will definitely see it again, but if you're in the mood for an entertaining spy thriller, then this is the movie for you.
The two standouts were Keira Knightley, doing an excellent American accent and Kevin Costner, who created a very interesting, well layered character.
I gave 'Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit' which opens in theatres, Friday January 17, 2014, 3 1/2 bagels out of 5.
Check out our video for more of my thoughts and how I think John would rate this film.
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