Cinematic Releases - Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit

Jack Ryan returns this week with his best outing since Clear and Present Danger

"Can you hear me now?
Dude. I said beam me up."
Years after that horrid attempt to create a Jack Ryan franchise around Ben Affleck, audiences are given a brand new version of Tom Clancy's character that is mildly closer in tone to the Harrison Ford movies of the nineties. It's not a perfect film by any means, but its a Jack Ryan movie that will give old fans their hero back and will entice new fans to enjoy an action packed franchise reinvigorated by a more youthful cast.

Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit takes a damn good shot at modernizing the character with a new tale ripped right from the headlines as it offers up an entertaining but charismatic villain played by Kenneth Branagh. Chris Pine picks up the reigns as the title character while Keira Knightley plays Cathy, his soon to be wife. The biggest shock is finally seeing Kevin Costner in a role that pulls him out of the gutter and puts him back on top again. In my humble opinion, he was the best and most entertaining part of the film. He had this role down cold.

"Say Waterworld
one more time, bitch!"
Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit is a total reboot of the series that plays out like a hyper edited extended episode of 24. We get high tech gadgets, globe trotting, tons of gun play, evil henchman, and a hefty terrorist plot that hearkens back to the heyday of that Fox tv series I just mentioned.

Shadow Recruit is nearly the exact opposite of what fans were expecting. In my mind, it was always a question. Why is Jack Ryan kicking so much ass? He's an analyst not Jason Bourne. Well, to my utter surprise, Shadow Recruit lays out the groundwork with some steady exposition and gives solid reasoning behind Ryan's new found affair with all things violent.

This might not be the exact version of Jack Ryan that all fans were looking for, but its a decent yet formulaic action flick released during the season where films go to die. Tom Clancy followers probably won't enjoy Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit as much as The Hunt For Red October, Patriot Games, or Clear and Present Danger. But, if you can go in with the understanding that this is a hybrid Jack Ryan for a new generation of fans, you just might like this one.

-Review by Chris George