‘Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit’ a promising reboot
This Paramount Pictures reboot of the spy thriller franchise based on the beloved character created by bestselling author Tom Clancy is a non-stop smorgasbord of “edge-of-your-seat” moments anchored on a very riveting plot involving a new kind of terrorism that is very real and very possible.
Director Kenneth Branagh and his crew do a damn fine job of reinventing Jack Ryan for the modern day and age. In fact, they almost make you forget that four other films about the spy agent/action hero had been made (The Hunt for Red October in 1990, Patriot Games in 1992, Clear and Present Danger in 1994 and The Sum of All Fears in 2002). That’s a good thing.
Having Chris Pine in the lead as Jack Ryan certainly helps with the franchise’s reinvention. Over the years Pine has emerged from playing supporting characters and starring in romantic comedies to become a bona fide action star (no doubt aided by his turn in the captain’s chair as James Kirk in the Star Trek reboot series). In Shadow Recruit, Pine further hones and sharpens his chops as a guy who could not only hack into high-security servers, but also kick some major bad guy caboose.
Branagh, Kevin Costner and Keira Knightley all provide stellar supporting performances. Branagh, as always, brings his A game and hams it up as deliberately cartoonish Russian baddie Viktor Cherevin.
Here’s hoping for more Jack Ryan movies in the future. This is one action hero whose time has come.