“Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit”

Another reboot to add to the barrage of reboots/origin stories in the last several years. Although never before had the character of Jack Ryan been considered a franchise, in the same way that Batman, Bourne, or Mission Impossible is, it is safe to assume now that this is the new direction for Paramount in the wake of the recent passing of Tom Clancy. In short, this movie is about Jack Ryan, a young former marine turned covert CIA analyst, who uncovers a Russian plot to crash the U.S. economy with a terrorist attack on New York City and the stock market to create a second great depression. First off, let’s take a look at the release date. This action-packed espionage movie was released in January, a traditional burial ground for major studio releases. Prior to “Wolf of Wall Street” moving from a 2014 release date to the coveted Christmas time slot(s), “Jack Ryan” was slated to have a Christmas release date all of its own. Is this an example of a Park Avenue movie slumming in the Bronx? Or, a ‘tastes great, less filling’ “Bourne”? You be the judge. Clearly, Paramout is grooming Chris Pine to be the actor to whom the torch of Jack Ryan is being passed. Kevin Coster’s character got it right when he asked Pine’s Ryan if he was going to keep that “boy scout on a field trip” look on his face. All-in-all, Pine’s acting is acceptable for a role such as this–nothing remarkable. The plug for Manhattan’s Film Forum was nicely woven into the film’s plot. With the Russians being the bad guys again, and in light of recent events in the news, are we returning to Cold War era movies? Although the cinematography is well executed, the editing often times included too many quick cuts which became more of a distraction than helpful in advancing the plot. At the end of the day, the first two acts are weak, followed by a decent third act. For purposes of an entertaining action film, it does its job.


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