I watch a lot of films. Do I review every one of them? Not a chance! It would overwhelm you and drive me crazy–then drive you crazy. Therefore, I sometimes go to movies with the ‘game plan’ of just sitting back and enjoying them–no review, no memories; just a plain, ol’ college brain dump afterwards. I tried that with this film, ‘Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit’. I had low expectations. Probably too low. Well, I was surprised.
‘Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit’ is an above average thriller and prequel to Tom Clancy’s other 3 movies. Chris Pine–making his first appearance as CIA analyst Jack Ryan–delivers. There are many tie-ins to Ryan’s past and his U.S. Marine Corps service and subsequent back injury in Afghanistan to make Clancy groupies happy. Probably very happy.
Two things, besides Pine’s successful selling of himself as Ryan, make this film work. First, Keira Knightley plays Ryan’s girlfriend Cathy Muller very convincingly. Second, Kevin Costner accepts and flourishes as the seasoned, older actor leaving behind his more youthful exhibits in ‘Bull Durham’ and ‘The Bodyguard’. Costner is now officially “old”–and he wears it well. His apt portrayal as The Agency’s face really made this movie shine. The result is a well-paced thriller with enough background to keep audiences informed but not to the point of being bored with today’s intel briefings.
If you’ve enjoyed the ‘Mission Impossible’ film series, particularly the first one, you’ll be delighted with ‘Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit’. Just remember to trust no one.
‘Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit’ is Rated PG-13 for sequences of violence and intense action, and brief strong language. Running time is 1 hour and 45 minutes.
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