Sunday, February 2, 2014
Snow Screen: Jack Ryan Saturday
Shadow Recruit is the 5th film based on prolific military/tech fiction author Tom Clancy's work but the first not to be based on one of his novels. Friends and fellow viewers that evening were disappointed in the latest chapter; feeling the story was too simplistic and suffered from the sometimes awkward scenes between Pine and Knightly. Looks like Pine will join past Jack Ryans Alec Baldwin and Ben Affleck in the "one and done" club but their entries were much more well received than his. Recruit hasn't kicked up much business at the box office and failed to appeal to younger audiences.
October has some real thrills and tense moments throughout which is no small feat considering it's about a bunch of guys talking in submarines and offices during The Cold War. A stellar cast includes Courtney B. Vance, Scott Glenn, James Earl Jones, Richard Jordon and Sam Neil who give the Soviets and the Americans depth and personality.
In Games, Ryan is the main attraction as October cast the spotlight on Connery's defecting ship commander. Since Ford is a few years older than Baldwin, the character is now a retired C.I.A. analyst turned professor. Given Ford's pedigree as Han Solo and Indiana Jones, his turn as Ryan is more physical than Baldwin's but is still not an action hero in the vein of cinema contemporaries like John McClane or Martin Riggs. There's some simple rough and tumble goings on but at the end of the day, it's his brains and time behind a desk doing research that nets him the juicy leads. While not as compelling as October, Patriot is a fine example of a for adults thriller that deals with current events and the nuts and bolts of clandestine government operations while keeping a foot in reality with the simple paradigm of how does one keep their family safe once exposed to a public threat.
It's a shame that Shadow Recruit didn't find an audience as it's always good to try and give movie goers a bit of excitement peppered with geopolitics, current events and good ol' American spy stuff. For now, looks like Jack Ryan will take another hiatus and we'll have to settle for super soldiers on the run and depressed secret agents blowing shit up.