Steen: Pine not totally believable as Ryan

The danger inherent in the film is that the plot doesn’t match our reality so I was not ‘on the edge of my seat.’

Jack Ryan, Shadow Recruit

This is an action film for sure, and it’s a good one, if a bit predictable.

Kenneth Branagh, the director and one of the main characters as well, takes us back in time to a young Jack Ryan, who, after the events of 9/11 wants to serve his country.

After a near death experience in Afghanistan, Jack is recruited to the CIA and becomes a financial analyst. Years later (with nary an additional wrinkle on his Hollywood face, I might add), he uncovers a Russian plot to destroy the U.S. financially.

While this film is based on characters created by Tom Clancy, it is the only Jack Ryan movie not based on a Clancy book.

And speaking of books, one of the best lines was: “Regret, it piles up around us like books we’ve never read.” I loved that!

Chris Pine (of Star Trek fame) plays Jack, Keira Knightley is Cathy Muller, Kevin Costner is Thomas Harper (many don’t, but I still like Costner and this is a perfect role for him), and, as mentioned, Kenneth Branagh plays one of the lead characters, the antagonist Victor Cherevin .

I think the challenge with films that take place in the present is that we know certain events happened and we know what didn’t happen, so the danger inherent in the film is that the plot doesn’t  match our reality (hope that makes sense) so I was not ‘on the edge of my seat’ waiting for the shoe to drop, I knew it didn’t.

So, does that diminish the enjoyment? Maybe a little, but it is, after all, just a movie, and while it didn’t top the box office this past weekend, it’s exciting enough to keep your attention.

I do have another bit of a challenge for this one. Chris Pine, who was not my image of Jack Ryan because I’ve seen several actors play this part, is signed up to do three more films based on this character. So now I have to get the mental image of the others out of my mind. Does this remind you of the James Bond franchise? I’m just sayin’.

It still gets three stars from me, because there was really just action and not a lot of silly scenes where no one gets hurt, or chases cars or tries to take down a nation.


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