Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit FeaturedWritten by Jon Patch
Paramount Pictures, Skydance Productions and Mace Neufeld Productions present a 105 minute, PG-13, action, thriller, drama, directed by Kenneth Branagh, written by Adam Cozad and David Koepp with a theater release date of January 17, 2014.
A young Jack Ryan (Chris Pine) is attending the London School of Economics when he hears of and watches on television at school the live horrific acts of terrorism that struck the United States on 9/11. Eighteen months later, the year 2003, Lieutenant Jack Ryan is flying in a helicopter over Afghanistan with several other military personnel when a missile hits their helicopter crashing it to the ground. Eight months at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center in rehab Jack is working with a med student Cathy Muller (Keira Knightley) who is trying to help him regain his strength to walk and someday run again. During this time, Jack is being watched by Thomas Harper (Kevin Costner) who is an unknown to Jack looking to recruit him into the CIA.
Ten years later, Russia is in an economic war with the USA which could bring the world crashing to its knees. A potential economic crash led by an act of terrorism conspired by Viktor Cherevin (Kenneth Branagh) in Moscow has brought Harper to the decision to send in an analyst to review is books. Cathy is unaware of Jack’s involvement with the CIA and due to the many secrets between the couple who have still not married yet she begins to think that Jack is having an affair. When Harper sends Jack to Moscow it not only makes Cathy not trust their relationship more but also turns Jack from an analyst to a full-fledged operative for the government committing his first act of violence in order to save himself.
When Viktor expresses he has done the routine checkup and supplied Jack with the concealed account information Jack must think quickly of his choices to obtain the information needed to disarm the attack on the USA economy. So dinner becomes the plan and an unplanned visitor has arrived as a surprise for Jack. Yes, it is Cathy and soon thereafter she too is brought into the mix to bring Viktor’s plan to an end. Little does the CIA know that Viktor has a secret in Dearborn Michigan and his name is Aleksandr Borovsky (Alec Utgoff) and once the plan is activated the whole world of geopolitics as known on Wall Street will forever not be the same after 9 AM EST.
I really enjoyed this film and thought that the direction from Branagh was extremely well done with very little lull moments in the story. Mixed with intrigue, suspense, action and a nice slice of romance between the main characters this film covers the entire basis for a hit at the box office. Some of the writing can get a bit humorous and far-fetched but overall it works for the story. A nice score mixed with some well-placed cinematography and once again this action drama hits the mark for a deserving 100 minutes in the theater.
Pine really does the role justice as Jack Ryan giving him a true sense of amateur mixed in with a professional character personality that works for this film. Knightley also is a great addition to the story as she gives the audience a sense of romance mixed with insecurity of what is going on within her relationship and for that fact on the outside of it as well. Costner is perfect and Branagh can be a little stiff but heck he is playing a Russian terrorist as well as the role of director of the film. As for the rest of the supporting cast they all make this film work in so many ways, making it well worth a night at your local theater for a bit of action, drama and romance. Written and enjoyed with three paws out of four by Jon Patch.