This Rotten Week: Predicting Ride Along, Jack Ryan, Devil's Due and The Nut Job Reviews

By Doug Norrie 2014-01-12 17:07:21discussion comments
Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit
Does anyone else find this weird? I mean I know that characters take on new personas/ histories/ faces in the movie world because that is the nature of Hollywood. There are very few new ideas coming around (see: Ride Along) therefore recycling old ones is a pretty nice value proposition. And it isn’t like Jack Ryan is say, Batman, wherein people lose their s@#$ over story arc and substance. Though that then begs the question, who really cares about Jack Ryan? Why is he back? Why is his story rebooted? See, the whole thing is weird.

Tom Clancy’s most famous character followed a fairly linear story arc in the novels, dealing with international espionage and geopolitical maneuvering, often more behind a desk than in the thick of things. (He usually saved that for John Clark). In this movie though, Chris Pine’s Jack Ryan becomes an action star, getting down and dirty in his quest to foil a plot by the Russians to wreak havoc on America. So while the movie gets to Clancy’s Cold War roots, the rest of it seems pretty divergent from the concept of Jack Ryan. Though I doubt anyone will really care.

Kenneth Branagh directs this second reboot of the Jack Ryan character, and the fourth actor (Baldwin, Ford, Affleck, Pines) in a story set in the modern day. Branagh’s has some success with the big action film in Thor (77%), but something about this film strikes me as odd. It appears formulaic and just an excuse to get the Clancy character back on screen. I hope I’m wrong, because I’m a huge fan of Clancy’s work and really enjoyed the earlier movie versions of his work. But this one doesn’t seem to line up. The Rotten Watch for Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit is 42%


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