As Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit prepares for release worldwide, the critics' reviews have been formed and filed and could determine whether many see the film or not this January. If you're a film fan who was looking forward to Kenneth Branagh's new realisation of the late Tom Clancy's CIA hero Jack Ryan, you may want to click away now because it's not too pretty.

Jack Ryan Shadow Recruit Chris Pine
Chris Pine Leads As Jack Ryan In The Franchise's New Incarnation.

After Alec Baldwin, Ben Affleck and Harrison Ford's incarnations of the young but heroic CIA agent, it's now Star Trek's Chris Pine's turn to take on the action role. Pine's Ryan starts out as a CIA office worker but is propelled into a daunting new world of special operations when he is enlisted to help thwart a major Russian terrorist plot.

Keira Knightley plays Ryan's wife, Cathy, who is initially oblivious to her husband's suddenly dangerous job but agrees to get involved with the operation as a diversion. When his wife's life becomes threatened, Jack is forced to decide where his priorities lie.

Watch The 'Jac Ryan: Shadow Recruit' Trailer:

Though the movie isn't adapted from one of Clancy's nine original Jack Ryan novels, the characters and plot are inspired by the tales of daredevil antics that have sold millions worldwide. The movie has a promising pre-release rating of 62% on aggregator Rotten Tomatoes.

Variety gets stuck into the movie-bashing, describing the film as "unchallenging, well-acted, not entirely mindless popcorn fare." However, the movie's action scenes and storyline of a man trying to find himself are compared favourably to both James Bond and the Jason Bourne movies.

"Kenneth Branagh's latest helming effort ultimately feels assembled from too many recycled genre parts to achieve more than muffled impact in the end," Justin Chang assesses.

Kenneth Branagh Jack Ryan Shadow Recruit
Kenneth Branagh Directs & Acts In The Action Thriller.

Us Weekly agrees but finds more to love, saying "it's nothing audiences haven't already been seen in the various Bourne and Mission: Impossible movies" yet describing Pine as "immensely appealing" whilst calling for a second instalment.

The Hollywood Reporter decides that the main issue with the movie is the modern day setting for the classic hero: "the biggest problem afflicting this modest diversion is that it's the sort of film in which computers get to the bottom of every problem that comes up in about five seconds." Todd McCarthy gripes: "no one ever needs to call a tech supervisor."

Keira Knightley Jack Ryan Shadow Recruit
Keira Knightley Also Stars In The Movie, Which Has Been Rated As Middling By Critics.

The consensus seems to be that Shadow Recruit won't win many awards but for high-octane action and solid acting, will be a welcome "escape from the January doldrums." Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit will be released on the 17th January in the US and on the 24th January in the UK.