Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit

"Good"

Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit Review


There's nothing very original in this spy thriller, but director Branagh gives the film a weighty sense of importance that at least makes it feel important. He can't make up for the flimsy plot or cliched characters, but he can coax shaded performances from the cast to grab our interest. And while the action is never as coherent as a Bourne movie, it at least has a sense of gravitas about it.

For yet another reboot of the Tom Clancy franchise, we go back earlier to follow Jack Ryan (Pine) as he is inspired by the 9/11 attacks to leave his financial studies and join the Marines. Shot down over Afghanistan, he undergoes a gruelling recovery and is recruited by CIA operative Harper (Costner) to work undercover on Wall Street, monitoring terrorist fund movements. A decade later his girlfriend Catherine (Knightley) has no idea what his real job is, so when she surprises him on a business trip to Moscow she ends up in the middle of an operation to investigate shady Russian businessman Cherevin (Branagh), who's behind some sort of imminent global attack.

The film's brisk pace focusses on Jack's motivations all the way through, so we understand his earnest desire to serve his country. Although we can't quite figure out how he developed all these he-man skills working behind a desk in a bank. Not only is he adept at firearms and hand-to-hand combat, but he can ride a motorcycle like a stuntman! Fortunately, Pine's everyman persona makes him easy to identify with and bodes well for future franchise instalments. Opposite him, Costner is marvellously lean and cool, Branagh has terrific lip-less menace and Knightley does her best in the standard underdeveloped female role.

Even though we have plenty of fun while it lasts, it's the thinly developed script that ultimately makes the film feel vaguely unsatisfactory. Sure, it's rollicking entertainment with the sheen of something more vital and relevant. But ultimately everything about the film is formulaic and predictable. And if the producers want this to be the start of a new franchise, they're going to need to be a lot more inventive than this.

Watch 'Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit' Trailer



Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit

Facts and Figures

Genre: Thriller

Run time: 105 mins

In Theaters: Friday 17th January 2014

Box Office USA: $50.5M

Box Office Worldwide: $50.5M

Budget: $60M

Distributed by: Paramount Pictures

Production compaines: Di Bonaventura Pictures, Etalon film, Paramount Pictures, Skydance Productions, Mace Neufeld Productions, Buckaroo Entertainment

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 56%
Fresh: 89 Rotten: 71

IMDB: 6.2 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Starring: as Jack Ryan, as Cathy Muller, as William Harper, as Embee, as Amy Chan, as Customer, as Constantin, Price Lindsey as Waiter, Celine Jedidi as Restaurant Diner, Ricky Rajpal as VIP Business Man, as Viktor Cherevin, as FBI Lead Agent, Elena Velikanova as Katya, Aleksandar Aleksiev as Cherevin's Bodyguard, as Rob Behringer, as Dimitri Lemkov, as Dixon Lewis, as Sergey Dostal, Amy J. Kim as UN Announcer, Bogdan Kominowski as Mr. Borovsky, Maggie Daniels as Mrs. Borovsky

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Lady Macbeth Movie Review

Lady Macbeth Movie Review

A seriously impressive feature directing debut with a star-making central performance, this period British drama...

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Movie Review

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Movie Review

It was never going to be easy to match the impact of 2014's Guardians of...

The Promise Movie Review

The Promise Movie Review

The director of Hotel Rwanda, Terry George, turns to another humanitarian horror: the systematic murder...

Their Finest Movie Review

Their Finest Movie Review

Skilfully written, directed and acted, this offbeat British period film tells a story that catches...

Unforgettable Movie Review

Unforgettable Movie Review

With heavy echoes of trashy thrillers like Fatal Attraction, this movie overcomes its painfully simplistic...

The Belko Experiment Movie Review

The Belko Experiment Movie Review

The kill-or-die scenario that this movie hinges on isn't something new; it's been used in...

The Fate of the Furious Movie Review

The Fate of the Furious Movie Review

With the more dumbed-down title Fast & Furious 8 outside of North America, this overcrowded...

Advertisement
A Quiet Passion Movie Review

A Quiet Passion Movie Review

British writer-director Terence Davies (The Deep Blue Sea) is an expert at digging beneath the...

The Sense of an Ending Movie Review

The Sense of an Ending Movie Review

Julian Barnes' Booker Prize-winning novel is adapted into a remarkably intelligent, gently involving film anchored...

The Boss Baby Movie Review

The Boss Baby Movie Review

There isn't a lot of subtlety in this madcap animated comedy, which is more aimed...

City of Tiny Lights Movie Review

City of Tiny Lights Movie Review

After the latest incarnation of Dredd, director Pete Travis shifts gears drastically for this complex...

Going in Style Movie Review

Going in Style Movie Review

This is only technically a remake of the iconic 1979 film starring movie icons George...

Graduation Movie Review

Graduation Movie Review

Romanian filmmaker Cristian Mungiu (4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days) recounts another staggeringly detailed...

Ghost in the Shell Movie Review

Ghost in the Shell Movie Review

This sci-fi thriller is so visually stunning that it deserves to be mentioned in the...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.