Wednesday, February 5, 2014
Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit - Movie Review
Directed by Kenneth Branagh.
This is the epitome of the standard, competent spy thriller. Jack Ryan (Chris Pine) is a Cold War hero moved to the 21st century, where Russians are still the main bad guys. This doesn't reignite the franchise any more than the Ben Affleck-led Sum of All Fears in 2001.
But it is in the hands of director Kenneth Branagh, who has shown he knows how to add a little fun to tentpoles. Ryan's origin, recruitment and training are all handled efficiently. When we get to the main case, when a lot of the suspense is happening on computer screens and thumb-drives, the pacing and direction are still tight. Branagh's got that Putin dead-eye stare down, and Costner's a fine mentor for Pine. I didn't have a problem with Keira Knightley's acting but her character didn't feel consistent.
Pine's good, and I wouldn't mind seeing another installment, but based on the box office, I think that might not happen. It needed to gross $170 million worldwide to justify a sequel and today is when it passes $100 million.