“Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit” is the new reboot of the popular character created by Tom Clancy. He has been portrayed before by the likes of Alec Baldwin, Harrison Ford and Ben Affleck. Each actor did an admirable job and made the character their own. Here we have Chris Pine, an actor with a ton of charisma, who is saddled with a screenplay that makes Ryan a bore. Not only that but the story and the action are all recycled elements we have seen in much better movies.
This is a real shame because I honestly like Pine. He is great in the role of Captain Kirk in the “Star Trek” films. This might be sacrilege but if they are going to recast Indiana Jones my vote would be for him to take it over. The danger there is that you don’t want to be associated with too many iconic roles. Anyways, in “Shadow Recruit” we catch up with Jack Ryan in his early days with the CIA. He is recruited by a senior agent played by Kevin Costner. His often disappointed girlfriend is played by Keira Knightley.
We follow Ryan as he uncovers a plot by some Russian bad guys to cause some financial terrorism. The main villain is played by Kenneth Branagh, who also directs the movie. Branagh really doesn’t give himself much dialogue to chew on. He plays it fairly straight forward to be honest. His guys engage in fist fights with Ryan in moments that take their cues from better movies such as the “Bourne” series.
In the end I found this movie to be fairly boring. About two thirds of the way through the plot lost me and the action sequences were feeling stale. I think the biggest mistake is to reinvent this character as a sort of action hero. The reason the original films worked so well is that because Ryan was just an average analyst who was forced in to dangerous situations. He was a hero but not in the traditional sense.