DVD Review: Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit
To be honest, I was worried going into Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit that Paramount had done a Jack Reacher and destroyed a perfectly good fictional character. The possibility was much higher with Ryan, as Paramount were making a film based on Tom Clancy’s character rather than a book. It’s a smart move by Paramount, because they can write infinite stories if the re-boot is a success, and they’re not stuck trying to make a novel into a film, whilst bringing everything into a modern timeframe.
I’m going to go out on a limb and say that this reboot has given us the best Jack Ryan to date, with Harrison Ford being my second favourite and despite there having been Alec Baldwin and Ben Affleck stepping into the role, neither make it to my third favourite. They were just crap.
It’s also a fairly decent reboot story, introducing us the the character of Jack Ryan, and keeping his history pretty much intact from the books, whilst placing him in our modern setting. Of course for this to be Clancy’s Jack Ryan, the film has to be awfully patriotic and therefore American-centric. And to give a modern motivation, we had to start at 9-11.
The film itself is a mixture of set piece action scenes with plenty of set up and enough time to set the legend of Jack Ryan in place. The action scenes mixed up with some good old spy-craft and espionage get bigger and better as the film progresses.
The storyline is pretty much set in a believable reality and Ryan’s Marine background lends credibility to a CIA desk jockey’s ability to defend himself from an assassin. The film does at times, feel like it’s dragging it’s ass, but as the explosive conclusion approaches, you’ll have forgotten any of the boring bits as you cling to the edge of your seat.
Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit is a solid re-boot of the Clancy world, and with some careful planning, more action and some great storytelling, Paramount have a franchise that will have punters excited for the next film to come along.
Rating: M Violence.
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