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Friday, 31 January 2014

Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit

Jack Ryan is the prequel to all those Jack Ryan films in the 80s and 90s. Except this time, they've elected to use Chris Pine instead of an actual actor as Jack Ryan.

Shadow Recruit is the tale of how Jack Ryan becomes who he is and how he starts working with the CIA in the first place. It's not really much of a story since Jack Ryan witnesses the 9/11 bombing, decides to become a soldier, gets injured and Kevin Costners character takes special interest in him and recruits him into the CIA. And then there's another timeskip; the 4th in 10 minutes and it skips forward 10 years and Jack is now working as a financial consultant and living with his nurse girlfriend, someone who wanted to be an optometrist and yet somehow ended up being in charge of his physiotherapy as well as working in a Hospitals ER ward it seems. That's a pretty big switch in majors right there. Not to mention she's able to diagnose threatening critical illnesses like a pro. 

So cue the threatening plot to take down America, by crashing its stock markets and devaluing the dollar so that America's economy will never recover. Of course, it HAS to be Russia behind this. And somehow, Jack Ryan is the only one who can help prevent this due to his stellar (some would say Gary Stu-ish) pattern recognition abilities. 

Jack Ryan ends up travelling to Russia and because his insecure girlfriend can't trust him, she ends up travelling to Russia to spy on him and to make sure he isn't sleeping around. I'm not really sure what it's like in America but in general, finding a ticket stub to an old black and white film screening in the middle of the day doesn't generally scream affair. Even if the person doesn't mention it or lies about it. 

Of course, she ends up being kidnapped in the end and there's a high speed car chase through Russia to rescue her. Which they do. Just in time for Jack Ryan to figure out how to stop the impending terrorist attack on America as well. In the end, there's another high-speed carchase, this time in down-town Manhatten, culminating in the terrorist bomber being blown up in his own vehicle after Jack thwarts the attack. 

Overall, Jack Ryan is a very very mediocre film. It didn't really have its downpoints; except Chris Pine, but it didn't really have any up points either. The saddest part is that Kevin Costner was probably the best actor in the film and he wasn't even one of the main characters. Generally, it's one of those films that I would watch once and then totally forget about it.