Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit

Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit

(2014)

Intelligence is a weapon.

The great Kenneth Branagh (Thor) directs this national security thriller based on Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan character. The young C.I.A. agent (Chris Pine, Star Trek) discovers a sinister terrorist plot aimed at the heart of the U.S. economy. Also stars Keira Knightley, Kevin Costner and Branagh himself.... More

Recruited into the CIA as an analyst after being wounded in combat, Jack Ryan works undercover on Wall Street, tracking financial transactions and trying to spot the next attack on the U.S. When he spots suspicious activity, Ryan is dispatched to Moscow to dig deeper but quickly finds his role change from auditor to active field operative as he goes up against ruthless Russian mastermind Viktor Cherevin (Branagh). Even worse, Ryan's suspicious fiance Cathy (Knightley) has touched down in Russia to check on what he's up to... With the help of his mentor (Costner), Ryan will have to survive this difficult situation if he's to thwart Cherevin's plan to kill tens of thousands of Americans and destroy the U.S. economy.

The character of Ryan features in nine Clancy novels, and has been played on screen by previously by Alec Baldwin (The Hunt for the Red October), Harrison Ford (Patriot Games) and Ben Affleck (The Sum of All Fears). Unlike those movies, Shadow Recruit is not based on one of Clancy's books.Hide

Flicks Review

The fifth film to feature the Jack Ryan character, this instalment attempts to rebrand its hunky spy for a new decade. We meet him as a budding university student in 2001, before the 9/11 attacks prompt him to sign up and head off to war, eventuating in an act of heroism that leads to his recruitment into the C.I.A.... More

Following turns by Alec Baldwin, Harrison Ford, and Ben Affeck as the titular Ryan, Chris Pine brings some of his Captain Kirk charisma to the role, but Ryan is a much more sensible hero than Kirk, and ultimately a bit of a blank slate. As his stock love interest Cathy, Keira Knightly feels somewhat out of place, only seeming engaged when tangling with the film's villain, played by Kenneth Branagh (who also directed).

As shady Russian businessman Viktor Cherevin, Branagh has given himself the most interesting character in the film, and he makes the strongest impression, radiating an oily menace. Adding some gravitas to proceedings as Ryan's boss is Kevin Costner, now comfortably enjoying the Wise Older Mentor phase of his career.

Branagh's direction is never flashy, and he proves to be a dab hand at generating tension during the middle third of the film. It's refreshing to see a thriller so unreliant on action sequences, instead choosing to focus on the quieter aspects of espionage, but it's a shame that when the fight/chase scenes arrive they are so perfunctory, and occasionally downright sloppy.

Despite this, Shadow Recruit endears simply by being a solidly put together thriller. It's never over-ambitious, content to be an easily digestible little bit of entertainment. As a fresh start for the character, it's a modest success.Hide


The Peoples' Reviews

Average ratings from 4 ratings, 4 reviews
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BY thorinoak superstar

So so action thriller which started with promise but fizzled at the end. Maybe Pine's next outing as Jack Ryan will be a little better. Here's hoping.


BY christinec superstar

Had marginal expectation & really enjoyed it. Very good acting from Chris Pine and cast (even Kenneth Branagh was a believable Russian baddie), and fast paced plot with good amount of action without being OTT, and same with the quota of love interest. Kept my interest throughout without any lulls. Overall - great.


BY filmlover superstar

Tom Clancy's 'Reds under the bed' obsession continues and this time sees Kenneth Branagh, of all people, as the Ruski villain. He also directs this fast paced but predictable flick. Chris Pine looks gorgeous in his usual Chris Piney sort of way, Kiera Knightley manages an American accent ( but begs the question, why not cast an American?).
If you love middle of the road thrillers this is your flick as it satisfies the brief completely.


BY RealityCheck superstar

Jack Ryan:Shadow Recruit
Well worth a anxiaty attack, in parts as fast paced as 'XXX' and with the same baddie. Action packed with lots to think about along the way. Some parts seem little far fetched, yet believable, set in the now, I liked that. A movie from a polictical, espionage military writer Tom Clancy. In the favour of 'Clear and Present Danger' with some 'XXX', 'Ronin', 'Sniper', 'M.I.' 'Sum of All Fears' and 'Fast and Furious' thrown in. Reminded me a little of James Bond 'Casino... More Royale', intro stuff.
Genre : Action, military, thriller
3/5 : Liked it, not loved it, still a great watch. It's not a date flick, it's a thinking man's movie.Hide


The Press Reviews

61% of critics recommend.
Rotten Tomatoes Score. More reviews on Rotten Tomatoes

  • Efficient, if ultimately rote, political thriller. Full Review

  • The plot’s a bit complex for what amounts to a lot of running around — the movie can’t help but evoke the Bourne series along with a high-gloss hint of Skyfall, not wholly unpleasantly. Full Review

  • Crisp, efficient and appreciably modest in scale...this conspicuous attempt to breathe new life into a long-dormant action franchise gets at least a few things right, chiefly the shrewd casting of Chris Pine. Full Review

  • There’s promising raw material here, particularly in the early scenes. But the film’s second half seems determined to snuff out the promise of its first, making it hard to wish for this incarnation of the character, or any, to have more big-screen adventures. Full Review

  • While Kenneth Branagh does a competent job behind the camera, he’s unaided by a lazy, uninspired and hollow screenplay. Full Review

  • Yes JR:SR does the talking-acting bits well. But it can't quite match them with action or get past the feeling that this reboot story is an unspectacular retread of so many others. Full Review

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