Monday, January 20, 2014

JACK RYAN: SHADOW RECRUIT


Based on the CIA analyst created by espionage master Tom Clancy, “Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit” is a blistering action thriller that follows Ryan (Chris Pine, “Star Trek”) from his quiet double-life as a veteran-turned-Wall Street executive to his all-out initiation as a hunted American agent on the trail of a massive terrorist plot in Moscow. 

Ryan appears to be just another New York executive to his friends and loved ones, but his enlistment into the CIA secretly goes back years. He was brought in as a brainy Ph.D. who crunches global data – but when Ryan ferrets out a meticulously planned scheme to collapse the U.S. economy and spark global chaos, he becomes the only man with the skills to stop it. Now, he’s gone fully operational, thrust into a world of mounting suspicion, deception and deadly force. Caught between his tight-lipped handler Harper (Academy Award-winner Kevin Costner), his in-the-dark fiancée Cathy (Keira Knightley) and a brilliant Russian oligarch (Kenneth Branagh), Jack must confront a new reality where no one can seem to be trusted, yet the fate of millions rests on his finding the truth. With the urgency of a lit fuse, he’s in a race to stay one step ahead of everyone around him. (ShadowRecruitMovie.com)

RICK: I was extremely worried about this movie when I saw that Kevin Costner was going to play William Harper, Jack Ryan’s control for the CIA.  I was pleasantly surprised that Director Kenneth Branagh was able to pull a decent performance out of lackluster Costner.

Chris Pine does a wonderful job portraying the young Jack Ryan. He now has two leading man roles that have solidified him as a star.

Kenneth Branagh not only directs but he also stars as The Shadow Recruit villain Viktor Cherevin. Branagh has made one hell of a fun movie.  JACK RYAN is a nonstop roller coaster ride.  Hats off to Branagh for making the best movie I have seen in a long time.



The only negative I have on this film was the hand to hand fight scenes.  It is hard to blame the fight choreographer especially when there is not one listed on IMDB to blame.  Unfortunately the fight scenes consisted of shaky camera work that made it impossible to figure out what was going on.  With a production level this good, how hard would it have been to find a competent martial artist in Russian and New York to help with the combat sequences? 

TONY: Chris Pine, as Jack Ryan, breathes new life into the character created by Tom Clancy. Played by Harrison Ford and Ben Affleck in the past, Chris Pine reintroduces the character almost as well as Ford did. We won't mention Afflecks attempt at portraying "Ryan," it's just not worth mentioning. Kenneth Branagh does an excellent job with the telling of one of Clancy's action packed spy novels. The writers of the script, Adam Cozad and David Koepp do an outstanding job translating Clancy's words into a script that keeps the audience guessing what is going to happen to Ryan next. Costner was, thankfully, kept in check with his drab acting which made this movie worth watching.

I have to agree with Rick on the action sequences being poorly shot. It was hard to follow the action when it was shot so close that you could not tell what was going on. If not for this one little fault in the movie, this would have been, easily, one of my favorite all time movies. I still enjoyed this film greatly and would even add this one to the library once it is available on disk. Looking forward to seeing if Pine will continue the franchise of Jack Ryan. "Jack Ryan Shadow Recruit," definitely one to go watch.

Thanks to Paramount Pictures and Hudak on Hollywood for the sneak Preview Passes.

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