There is less than a month to go until Kenneth Branagh’s action-packed Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit takes command over theaters across the nation, though it’s one of few films that I feel I haven’t been inundated with every time I turn around. That may change now that Paramount has released the film’s first TV spot, which will certainly play during every commercial break for CBS shows after 9 p.m. (Not that I watch those.)

Like the best TV spots out there, this one makes Shadow Recruit sound like the next great action movie, introducing the characters and the plot in a smooth and accessible manner, all while still offering explosions and up-close fighting. If only they could have explained why this movie has to be about Jack Ryan and not some other equally interesting CIA analyst that won’t draw ire from legions of Tom Clancy fans who are accustomed to their hero using his brains far more than his brawn. Instead of having Jack stressed out as a way of showing us he isn’t a guy who gets in fights very often, how about just not making him fight at all? Yeah, that’s probably the most naïve sentence you’ll find on Cinema Blend this week.

Chris Pine looks like he’ll be as enjoyable as ever as the analytical Ryan, who finds himself a newly appointed CIA field agent after he uncovers a plot involving a Russian terrorist attack. He works under the sage direction of William Harper (Kevin Costner) and is married to the unassuming Cathy (Keira Knightley). In the middle of everything is Viktor Cherevin (Branagh), a businessman working to destroy the global economy. The farther Ryan goes into the plot, the more he realizes how far away the truth still is, and everyone around him begins to look more and more untrustworthy. The way these trailers play things, it almost has to be his wife somehow behind everything. It’s probably a red herring, or maybe it’s just meant to look like a red herring, and so on.

While I wish Hollywood would revert back to spy thrillers that offered mental thrills rather than endless action sequences, Tinker, Tailor, Solider, Spy is a good example, the tag team of Branagh and Pine will almost certainly offer up enough excitement to make me forget my argument while I’m watching. Want a few more explosions? Check out the theatrical trailer below and get even more when Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit hits theaters on January 17, 2014.



jack ryan poster

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