Review

Tom Clancys Jack Ryan novels and there film adaptions were some of the most tense thrillers of the 1990s and early noughtiies. From "The Hunt For Red October" in 1990 to "The Sum Of All Fears" in 2002 Clancy gave us edge of the seat thrillers that were packed with action and suspense. Unfortunately Jack Ryan Shadow Warrior is not an adaptation of a particular Tom Clancy novel, but rather an original story and it shows.

We first meet Ryan (Chris Pine) at College as watches the events of 9/11 unfold on television. Seeing the disaster he decides to join the marines and do his bit for his country. After his helicopter is shot down somewhere over Afghanistan and he is badly injured Ryan finds himself in rehabilitation. It's from here that he is approached by Commander Thomas Harper (Kevin Costner) who suggests that he could work for the CIA as a covert agent based in Wall Street with the mission of spotting possible terrorist money movements. During his rehabilitation Ryan also meets and falls for Cathy Muller (Knightley) a doctor who is aiding his recovery.

10 years on and Ryan who is now an analyst with the CIA and has moved in with Muller, uncovers something suspicious involving a Russian corporation run by Viktor Cherevin (Kenneth Branagh, who also directs the film and who has the worst Russian accent every committed to film). Ryan is then approached by Harper and told that his country now need his services as it seems The Russians are planning to undermine the American economy and commit a terrorist attack somewhere in the USA. Ryan is immediately sent off to Moscow and told to find out where the bombs going to explode.

Shadow warrior plays like a poor man’s James Bond, Ryan even says at the end, the names Ryan Jack Ryan. Unfortunately Ryan is no Bond, in fact he's not even a half decent Jason Bourne.

The film feels dated and no longer relevant, someone should have told Brannagh that the worlds moved on from the Cold War. The acting is hammy with Brannagh playing his part like some pantomime villain. Knightly has probably the worst role as she chases Ryan across Europe and appears to be only there to play the damsel in distress. The scene where Brannagh threatens Knightley’s character with an energy efficient light bulb has to be seen to be believed.

In fairness the problem might not be with Brannaghs direction, it’s debatable whether Sam Mendes or even Paul Greengrass could have made much of David Koepp's and Adam Cozad's woeful script.

The film is dedicated to Tom Clancy, who died on October 1, 2013. I imagine that he'll be turning in his grave.



Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit (12A)

1h 40m

Director: Kenneth Branagh
Starring: Chris Pine, Keira Knightley, Kevin Costner, Kenneth Branagh

UK Release: Friday 24th January 2014






Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit - "Having An Affair" Clip

Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit - "Chase" Clip
















Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit 12(A)


Director: Kenneth Branagh
Starring: Chris Pine, Keira Knightley, Kevin Costner, Kenneth Branagh

UK Release: Friday 24th January 2014



www.shadowrecruitmovie.co.uk