Jack Ryan, played by Chris Pine, is a Marine on the verge of paralysis when the gorgeous nurse Cathy Muller (Keira Knightley) pushes him towards a full recovery and an eventual romantic relationship. Sound like a half-decent cinematic experience?
It may have been, if the storyline of “Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit,” the latest installment in the five-part series, wasn’t an adapted version of the bestselling book series by Tom Clancy, the recently deceased author of adrenaline-packed, magnificent and politically charged action thrillers.
As the opening music ran its course, I couldn’t help but wonder if “Jack Ryan” would be worth the viewing. With a cast of “I haven’t seen them since 2010” status, including Knightley, Kevin Costner (playing the mysterious CIA agent Thomas Harper) and the mediocre yet handsome-as-hell Pine, the acting held the possibility of being lackluster. From watching trailers, it had the making of a subpar screening involving too much action and too little competent plotline.
However, the film proved to have the fast-paced nature Clancy’s books always hold, with a dazzling take on a financial feud between the United States and Russia that has the potential of sending the United States into a economic depression.
Ryan is left to do what he does best: infiltrate Russian territory to protect his country from possible terrorist activity. He starts with taking down the ruthless Viktor Cherevin, played by Kenneth Branagh, who’s out for revenge after being left embittered by US intervention in the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.
Besides the occasional dose of uninspiring acting, the movie is a well-worked adaptation with thrills and chills galore. If high-speed action with a healthy helping of financial CIA investigation is your forte, “Jack Ryan” should treat you well.
MOVE gives “Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit” 2.5 out of 5 stars.