Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit

This is an action thriller, being an original story using Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan character, in a sort of origins type story.

Ryan, played quite well indeed by Chris Pine, starts off the film as a student. He sees 9/11, drops out and becomes a combat soldier in Afghanistan. He is busy volunteering for frontline duty, helping his raw colleagues to stiffen up and be manly, and simultaneously managing to do intelligence analysis better than everyone else. But can he make an omelette?

Spoiler warning!

Ryan ends up in hospital with terrible injuries. (No, not from making an omelette…) There he meets the Keira Knightley character, a doctor helping with his rehabilitation, and she becomes his girlfriend. Then mysterious Kevin Costner recruits him for a CIA deskjob as an undercover analyst. That job leads him to Moscow where he meets the terribly wicked Kenneth Branagh character, and in a decent action scene converts from deskjob to operational agent. Let’s go Jack Ryan!

End of spoiler warning!

Ryan uncovers a plot against America that must be foiled. He is just the man for it.

This is bubblegum. It will keep you interested, but leave you with nothing of enduring value. Do not look too closely or you may end up laughing out loud. Pine actually does better than Costner and Branagh in coming across as believable. I hope the other two did the film for a lot of money, because they just look silly most of the time. Keira is OK. She plays a bit part with better than bit part skills.

In short, if you have nothing better to do, it’s OK. But do not cross a busy street to watch it.