The Jack Ryan character and Tom Clancy movies always have been popular ones, yet nobody was really ever looking forward to this movie. Hard to say why. Perhaps it's because it's yet another spy thriller or maybe it's because people are just getting fed up with reboots of movie franchises, every next few years.

This movie marks the fourth incarnation of the jack Ryan character and this time around he is being played by Chris Pine. The movie takes us back to the earliest days of his CIA career (didn't "The Sum of All Fears" do this already, just over 10 years ago?), so in other words, this is truly a reboot of the franchise and character. It's a fresh start again but the movie is doing far too little with this opportunity.

It's a mostly uneventful movie, that isn't doing anything different or any better than any other spy thrillers that are out there. A real run of the mill movie and I have to say that it's most likely my least favorite one, out of all the Jack Ryan movies.

It's somewhat surprising. Kenneth Branagh is a great director, David Koepp a more than capable writer and Chris Pine a good, fresh, young, new star. So by all means this movie should be a great one but it however just really isn't though. Like I said, it's a mostly uneventful movie, with a formulaic action scene here and there but it's never anything exciting or surprising. Also the story doesn't ever work out as the most interesting or engaging one.

One of the problems with the story is that it's lacking a sense of threat and danger throughout. It doesn't turn into a fight against terrorism until the movie its final few minutes and before that point, there really isn't anything that ever comes across as anything that threatening or dangerous for its main characters. There is the Kenneth Branagh character, who is the main villain in this but he's a wasted villain really. Again, nothing too threatening or dangerous about him and he besides isn't enough in the movie to become much of a character.

But all of the characters remain mostly underdeveloped ones actually, which seems like an odd thing for a movie that tries to reboot a franchise. I strongly feel that this movie should have focused on more characters than just the Jack Ryan one. It makes everyone and everything around him come across as extremely bland. I like the fact that they tried to turn Jack's (future) wife into more of a character and I liked Keira Knightley's portrayal of her but in the long run it doesn't add much to the overall movie, since hey aren't ever doing anything surprising with her. As a matter of fact, it gives the movie an excuse to throw in a 'damsel in distress' type of plot as well, which is one of the biggest and oldest clich├ęs out of the book.

It's of course not a terrible movie by any means but nothing that's worth seeing nothing that you need to see in the theater. It's more of a disappointment than truly a bad movie.


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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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